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LongIsland NASSAU EDITION

Parent NYMETROPARENTS.COM DECEMBER 2019

Superb Staycations Plus, 4 seasonal Long Island favorites you don’t want to miss!

It’s Okay to Regift 6 Easy Tips for Decluttering Success HELPING PARENTS MAKE BETTER DECISIONS

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contents table of

december 2019

10 21 seasonal fun

18

14 Spectacular Staycations 20 Holiday Fun in NYC

Regift Without Regret

The do’s and don’ts of courteous regifting

Family Activities Calendar

Find something to do every day this month in Nassau County

Get Insured

How to choose and sign up for an insurance plan if your company doesn’t offer one

raising kids

things to do

family life

6 Editor’s Note 8 New Places, New Programs 10 Regift Without Regret 12 How to Be a Grinch 13 Backup Sitter Options 34 Sick Day Rx 36 Decoding Infant Reflexes 38 Don’t Let Go—Just Yet 40 Party Central 41 Meet the Health Care Professional 42 Professional Services 43 Education Directory 45 Advertisers’ Index 46 Trip of a Lifetime

21 Family Activities Calendar

16 Declutter Your Home 18 Get Insured 44 Use it or Lose it

NYMetroParents

Helping Parents Make Better Decisions ON THE COVER ›› 10 It’s Okay to Regift 14 Superb Staycations 16 6 Easy Tips for Decluttering Success facebook.com/nymetroparents

@NYMetroParents Visit NYMETROPARENTS.COM for family activities updated daily and more than 2,000 parenting articles!


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raising kids editor’s note

DECEMBER 2019 • Vol.11 • No.7

NYMetroParents nymetroparents.com

EDITORIAL

Happy Holidays!

N

o matter which holiday you celebrate this month, the end of the year is typically the time many families have travel plans—to visit family, escape the cold for a week, or even just a few days away to take advantage of kids’ time off from school. But if holiday travel isn’t on your calendar yet, we’ve got just the thing for you: six out-of-the-box staycation ideas in Manhattan, plus four can’t-miss seasonal holiday events across Long Island (p. 14). Of course, there’s always the trusty calendar (p. 21), chock-full of ideas for every day of the month to keep your kids active, entertained, and having a blast for the rest of 2019! Speaking of holidays, have you ever been given a gift that, while thoughtful, wasn’t your style? Chances are you’ll get at least one more this year. Not to worry! It’s 100-percent acceptable to regift any presents you receive, says Lizzie Post, greatgreat-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post. Just make sure you read Lizzie’s do’s and don’ts of regifting first (p. 10)! And while we’re thinking about gifts (and the season’s hottest toys your kids are begging for)…it might be time to purge the toy box and get rid of any toys your child has outgrown. Read expert organizers’ tips for decluttering your home on p. 16. This might not be the highlight of your holiday vacation, but it will benefit your family in the long run. Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, and fruitful holiday season! Katelin Walling Editorial Director

Helping Parents Make Better Decisions

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Katelin Walling PRODUCTION EDITOR: Melissa Wickes FEATURES EDITOR: Shana Liebman ASSISTANT EDITOR: Jacqueline Neber CALENDARS CALENDAR COORDINATOR: Whitney C. Harris EVENT RESEARCHERS: Lisa Fogarty, Kristina Johnson, Shara Levine DIRECTORIES EDITOR: Alice Van Dyke COPY EDITOR: Christina Vercelletto

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DIR. OF OPERATIONS -- EVENTS: Rebecca Stolcz DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS: Ray Winn OPERATIONS COORDINATOR: Leonard Porter DIRECTOR OF TRAFFIC: Heather Gambaro MARKETING SERVICES MANAGER: Erin Jordan

PRODUCTION

DIRECTOR | PUBLISHING MANAGEMENT: Anthony Diaz DIRECTOR | DIGITAL CONTENT: Silvia Balu

Our Editors Find You the Best Events! When it comes to finding weekend fun with your kids, we make it easy for you! Our editors spend hours scouring the community for the best events happening. And every Thursday, you’ll receive a curated list of the best of what’s happening that weekend in Nassau County—from sports and theater to festivals and petting zoos. Sign up today at nymetroparents.com/newsletter!

MARKETING

ASSISTANT MARKETING MANAGER: Anastasiya Borunova

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BIG APPLE PARENT, QUEENS PARENT, WESTCHESTER PARENT BROOKLYN PARENT, ROCKLAND PARENT, BERGEN • ROCKLAND PARENT, STATEN ISLAND PARENT, and LONG ISLAND PARENT are published monthly by Davler Media Group, LLC Copyright © 2019, Davler Media Group, LLC No part of contents may be reproduced without prior permission from the publisher.


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Courtesy Making Authentic Friendships

raising kids new places, new programs

Interactive Web App to Help Kids with Special Needs Connect Launches

Who: Mathnasium New Hyde Park What’s New: High school students can volunteer to help run stations at Math Nights to acquire community service hours as of this September. Mathnasium Math Nights are set up at various elementary schools with ten stations with different games and activities enabling kids to learn mathematical concepts. All games are related to math in some way, like a card game that teaches numbers and counting. Parents are welcome at Math Nights to help create a comfortable and encouraging atmosphere where children can practice math. Math Nights are free of charge to schools. Want More Info: 810 Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park; 516-616-6284; mathnasium.com/newhydepark

Park asium New Hyde

Tutoring Center in New Hyde Park Offering Volunteer Opportunity to High Schoolers

Juliana Fetherman says she was inspir ed to create Making Authentic Friendships when she realiz ed her brother, who has autism and ADHD, was having diffcu lty connecting with friends.

Courtesy Mathn

Who: Making Authentic Friendships What’s New: The interactive web app, which launched in August. The networking app was designed for any individual with special needs who may feel like he is having trouble making friends he can relate to. The app is designed like a game, based on geolocation, diagnosis, age, and interests. Conversation prompts that relate to both users’ mutual interests will be provided to stimulate conversation. The child the account is for must be 13 or older, and the app is moderated for safety, so any inappropriate messages will be flagged and blocked. Parents can use the app to connect with people on their child’s behalf if desired. Want More Info: makingauthenticfriendships.com

teach hts aim to not only Hyde Park’s Math Nig rams, Ab er Pet to Mathnasium New ing ord fun for students, acc ums. math, but make it rden City Mathnasi w Hyde Park and Ga Ne of or ect dir ter cen

Who: Music Institute of Long Island What’s New: 30th anniversary concert slated for June 13, 2020. Co-owners Geri and Carol Kushner will hold the concert at Adelphi University Performing Arts Center in Garden City. Students and alumni will perform selections from various genres including popular, classical, and chamber. Geri, who has a master’s in music performance, believes that playing and performing music is more than just fun. It gives students valuable skills and traits that carry over into adulthood. Many Music Institute of Long Island students have gone on to become professional musicians, attend performing arts universities, and attend colleges like Juilliard, Columbia, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, and Harvard Law School. Want More Info: 90 Plandome Road, Manhasset; 516-627-7052; milimusic.com 8

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

Courtesy Music Institute of Long Island

Music School in Manhasset Holds 30th Anniversary Concert

Music Institute of Long Island teach es music, including violin, viola, cello, guitar, piano, and brass instru ments, to children and adults ages 3 and up.


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DECEMBER 15 • 10am, 12pm & 2pm Celebrate the season at our annual Santa Brunch! Enjoy a delicious buffet brunch in the waterfront Sea Star Ballroom, and take along a camera to capture a family photo with Santa! The kids will make a special take-home holiday keepsake! Don’t forget to leave time to enjoy the Aquarium, included with your brunch fee!

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raising kids in the know

Regift Without Regret

I

s it rude to regift? Not at all, says Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of the legendary etiquette guru Emily Post, author of numerous proper-behavior books, and co-host of the Awesome Etiquette podcast. Post says she prefers to be open and honest when she regifts. She once regifted a bracelet from an old boyfriend to her cousin on her 21st birthday. “I told her that I was given the bracelet by someone who really loved me and that I thought she would appreciate it, and she was thrilled,” Post says. “It became a piece that meant something to her and that I felt good about letting go of because I let her know the history.” But even if you want your gift’s origin to remain a secret, keeping useful items in circulation is not only good for the planet, but can make others happy. Here are Post’s do’s and don’ts for courteous regifting.

Use Original Packaging

The item shouldn’t look like it’s been open, tested, or used. If you’re not telling the recipient it’s a regifted item, then it really has to look brand-new. Reminder for gift bags: Remove the tag that’s inscribed to you.

Don’t Regift Personalized Items

It’s hard to believe, but Post says people call into the podcast who have received (and given) gifts with engravings meant for someone

›› By Jaimie Seaton

else, including a wedding date or inscription. Needless to say, this is not acceptable. Unless the new recipient has the exact same wedding date, keep the gift.

Let Time Pass Before Regifting

If you’re choosing to keep your regifting a secret, Post says you need to be 99-percent sure the person you’re giving it to and the person who gave it to you aren’t going to find out. Let some time lapse before immediately regifting the item—the amount of time, according to Post, is a personal decision and calls for good judgement.

Don’t Regift Unique or Handmade Items

If someone paints you a painting or gives you a particularly unique or memorable gift (such as an Octopus planter), there’s no way to regift these items within your family or circle of friends. Avoid hurt feelings and keep the gifts or regift to a friend or relative who will never cross paths with the original giver.

Be Thoughtful About Regifting

Only regift when you think the item will benefit the person receiving it. In other words, don’t thoughtlessly regift things simply to get rid of them or save money. If it’s not a good match, sell or donate the item, Post advises.

Jaimie Seaton has been a journalist for more than 20 years and is the former Thailand correspondent for Newsweek. Her work on divorce, parenting, dating, and a wide range of topics has been featured in The Washington Post, The Guardian, Glamour, and numerous other publications.

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December 2019 | nymetroparents.com


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raising kids

Humor

How to Be a Grinch

››

Don’t put the ho-ho-hum in the holiday season! By Deborah Skolnik

F

rom taking the perfect family photo for your holiday cards to decorating your house so it’s picture-perfect and scurrying around finding the must-haves on your children’s gift wish lists, it’s easy to suck the joy right out of the holiday season. If, by some chance, you’d rather have a holiday season full of cheer where everyone is happy, we have recommendations for you! Here’s how to put the bah-humbug in the holidays—or not: 1. Insist on getting the perfect photo for your annual holiday card. Dress up everyone in their finest clothes and keep stage-directing them (“a little to the left…a little to the right”) until their smiles are as frozen as a snowman’s. Instead: Go for a shot that’s casual or silly—it’s what life is really like with kids. 2. Knock yourself out trying to find this season’s hottest overpriced toy, even if your child didn’t ask for it. Instead: Have your child help you pick out a toy for Toys for Tots or another organization that brings joy to children in need. Show her that it’s what caring families do. 3. Write a glowing holiday letter to your family and friends, then spend the rest of the season wishing your life were half as awesome as you made it sound. Instead: Be honest about some of the struggles you’ve faced, like losing your battle with the scale or struggling to make your kids understand that “no means no.” People will appreciate your honesty.

4. Scurry around so much getting ready for the holidays that you spend less time with your kids than you want to. Instead: Slow down and enjoy the season together. Take an evening to drive around and admire the holiday lights or go iceskating one afternoon. 5. Decorate your home with lots of “don’t-touch” holiday objects, then get upset when your child breaks one (or worse, get scared when he ends up hurting himself). Instead: Learn how to keep your home festive but hazard free. 6. Drag your children to a nighttime holiday religious service, then feel embarrassed when they can’t keep it together. Instead: Look for a “family” service, where kids are welcome and a certain amount of squirminess is permitted. 7. Pressure your kids to give hugs and kisses to family friends and relatives they barely know. Instead: Remember that kids, like adults, have the right to decide whom they want to be cozy with. If your child doesn’t feel like it, ask him to give a simple wave or say a friendly hello. Really young kids may not even be able to manage that much, but it’s okay; the adults around them will almost certainly understand. 8. Go into debt making this “the best holiday ever.” Instead: Create a reasonable budget and stick to it. You’ll start the new year feeling refreshed—not impoverished.

Deborah Skolnik lives in Westchester with her husband and two daughters, and enjoys writing, cooking, and gardening.

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December 2019 | nymetroparents.com


raising kids child care

A SPACE FOR MODERN FAMILIES

Backup Sitter Options ››

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Some child care centers offer an occasional drop-in option for families whose kids don’t normally attend. Typically, no advance notice is required, but you have to be pre-registered. Check with some of your local child care centers to see which ones may offer this arrangement. Ask whether the fee is based on a membership, where you can drop in up to a certain number of times in a year, or if you only pay for the days you actually use the service.

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Another Nanny

Do you have friends who employ a nanny for their children? If so, see if that nanny might be willing to watch your kids on the days yours is unavailable. Your nanny can then return the favor. Of course, you check with your nanny to make sure she’d be okay with this—and talk to your friend—before you’re in a jam.

Nanny Shares

Find out if you can join another family’s nanny share, a situation where two or more families share a nanny.

Stay-at-Home Parents

They’re busy too, needless to say, and should not be taken for granted. But that said, if you have a close friend nearby who stays home with her kids, she’d probably be willing to help you out. Again, you’ll want to broach the subject well before your hour of need.

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Mark Weinberg

The FAO Schwarz Holiday Suite at Conrad New York Midtown is decked out in the store’s favorite toys for the kids (and kids at heart) to play with.

Spectacular Staycations 6 unique holiday adventures that will make you glad you stayed local ‘

T

››

By Lambeth Hochwald

is the season to stay in town! That’s because New York City has some of the best staycation options—and we don’t mean a visit to the Met or a chilly walk through Central Park. In fact, once we started thinking outside the box, we discovered some extraordinary and innovative ways to spend your holiday.

in Hudson Yards, the Crowne Plaza HY36’s Hibernation Vacation Suite is stocked with cozy sleeping bags and plush throw blankets. Artificial candles, crackling fireplace sounds, and a mini chocolate fountain for deconstructed s’mores bring elements of camping into your room.

A Tween’s Dream Come True

For the Young (and Young at Heart)

Don’t just go to the theater. Book a night at the Row NYC hotel, just steps away from some of the biggest shows including The Lion King, which is just a block away. This year Row NYC is offering the Bloomingdale’s Shop & Stay package, which includes exclusive in-store savings, a branded duffle bag, and a $50 gift card to the store. For the perfect pre-theater or post-shopping treat, stop by City Kitchen, a food hall located right off Row NYC’s lobby, for snacks such as Dough’s famous doughnuts.

Glamp in the City

It may be too cold for camping, but several hotels are bringing the experience inside. The JW Marriott Essex House New York, just a stone’s throw from the Wollman Rink at Central Park, sets up custom camper tents in family-sized luxury suites. Further downtown

At the new Conrad New York Midtown, the first-ever FAO Schwarz Holiday Suite comes decorated with the iconic store’s favorites for the season—including a mini gourmet kitchen, ride-on train tracks, and DJ turntables. Suite guests also get a private shopping spree and tour of the store by an FAO Schwarz toy soldier.

A Flavor for All Taste Buds

During an invigorating walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, it helps to know a cozy food hall awaits on the other side. That place is Dumbo’s Time Out Market New York, which serves Juliana’s Pizza (without the wait), and the now-legendary blueberry pancakes courtesy of Clinton Street Baking Co., alongside views of the East River waterfront and lower Manhattan skyline. Before you eat, take a spin on nearby Jane’s Carousel—which is not just for kids.


Courtesy One World Observatory

Courtesy Madame Tussauds New York

Spend an afternoon at Madame Tussauds New York, where you can snap Insta-worthy pics of your kids with their favorite celebrities, comic heroes, and more—including Taylor Swift and the Hulk.

Locals as Tourists

Celebrate Hanukkah with menorah lightings, festivals, and more!

Just blocks away from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, The Knickerbocker, aka The Knick, is a boutique hotel that feels like an oasis even though it’s in busy Times Square. Relax over a meal at Charlie Palmer at The Knick, which offers a kids’ menu that’s as varied as it is healthy. (Salmon and veggies on a kids’ menu? Now we’re talking.) Plus, it’s steps away from popular destinations, such as Madame Tussauds, National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Don’t forget to ask about the hotel’s holiday partnership with Shoott—which is offering an hourlong professional photoshoot to commemorate your special staycation. It could yield the perfect picture for next year’s holiday card.

Sweet Indulgence

There’s a new shake in town this holiday season, and you can find it at Black Tap 35th, the restaurant’s new flagship location in Herald Square. The Holiday Shake (available Dec. 1-31) is a cheesecake-flavored milkshake with a vanilla-frosted rim and white, gold, and silver sprinkles. As if that weren’t decadent enough—it’s topped with a slice of white-chocolate, macadamia-nut cheesecake, whipped cream, and a cherry. The kids will go bananas watching this and other shakes come to life at the Black Tap’s CrazyShake Bar.

Courtesy Black Tap

Lambeth Hochwald is a New York City-based journalist covering trends, relationships, and life in New York City.

TRADITIONAL TREATS ON LONG ISLAND You won’t feel like a tourist with seasonal activities at these local destinations. Get a Jump on Holiday Shopping Support local artists and small business owners by shopping for gifts at the holiday market at Old Westbury Gardens. Located in the Barn at Orchard Hill and Orchard Hill House, the market is open Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Bonus: When you’re done shopping (or before), you can take in the beauty of Westbury House, which has been decorated for the holidays. Celebrate Hanukkah From menorah lightings and doughnut decorating and eating to spinning the dreidel and collecting gelt, Long Island hosts numerous Hanukkah celebrations for those who observe the holiday and those who want to learn more about it. Visit nymetroparents.com/hanukkah-li for a complete list—and check the calendar in this issue (p. 21)! Dance with the Sugar Plum Fairy The Nutcracker is synonymous with this time of year, and Nassau County isn’t lacking for amazing renditions of the classic ballet. Join Clara, the Mouse King, and more Dec. 14-15 in Ohman’s New York Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker at Hofstra University John Cranford Adams Playhouse in Hempstead or Eglevsky Ballet’s The Nutcracker at Tilles Center for Performing Arts LIU Post in Brookville. Bonus: Both productions feature local kids! Be Wowed by Lights Drive through the Magic of Lights at Jones Beach, on view through Jan. 4, 2020. It’s an annual, dazzling pathway of magical lights, favorite holiday scenes and characters, and digital animation—all using the latest in LED technology— that you view from the comfort (and warmth!) of your car.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a decadent milkshake from Black Tap 35th, like the seasonal Holiday Shake.

LongIslandParent 15


family life

home

By having your whole family sort through their belongings and deciding what to get rid of, you all are making room for new clothes, books, toys, and more— and giving new life to your old items.

Declutter Your Home

››

Simple strategies that will make a big difference By Madeleine Burry

P

iles of papers, overstuffed closets, and toys scattered everywhere. Does this sound familiar? Clutter can seem like an unavoidable, but essentially harmless, way of life, particularly for families in tight quarters. But chaos and disorganization can have a negative impact, both physically and mentally. “As the clutter piles up, so do the feelings of anxiety,” says Elsa Elbert, professional organizer and owner of the Los Angeles-based personal organizing company Composed Living. And that’s true for kids, as well as moms and dads. “When kids are surrounded by clutter or too many things, they can have difficulty choosing what to play with and this can impact their attention span and ability to concentrate,” says Jane Stoller, professional organizer and author of Decluttering for Dummies. The reasons to declutter are clear, Stoller adds: an increase in productivity, happiness, and free time to spend with loved ones. And the actual process doesn’t have to be daunting if you do it right.

Get the Family Involved

Before you dive into a declutter project, keep in mind it will be less successful as a solo mission. “It is very important that everyone in the house is aware and on board with your decluttering mission,” Stoller advises. Start by having a conversation with your significant other. “Go through why decluttering will help the household and your 16

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

relationship,” Stoller says. These benefits may include more time to spend together or less early-morning stress about locating the kids’ sports equipment before the school bus arrives. And get your kids involved, too. “Ask your children to go through their rooms and make two piles—the things they love, and the things they don’t love so much,” Elbert suggests. This will help them feel empowered, and far more willing to be part of the process. Another trick: Let kids know their toys will be donated to others—and by sorting through them, they’re clearing space for new toys. You can also gamify decluttering to encourage participation, Stoller says. Try setting the timer for 30 minutes, she suggests. If your kids declutter 20 items and put them into their boxes in 30 minutes, they get a small reward.

Follow Through

Even after you’ve sorted the mail and thrown out stained clothes, more mail will enter your home, and you’ll drip more coffee on your jeans. Decluttering is not a one-and-done project. “It should be an automatic part of your daily routines and lifestyle,” Stoller says. Her advice? Before you purchase an item or allow it into your space, question if it will provide value. If it won’t, don’t allow it inside your door. Avoid impulse purchases; a list or clearly defined purpose when you head into a store can help.


Marty Basher, home organization expert for Modular Closets, suggests making decluttering a routine. “Schedule a time each week, or even each day, to tidy up and get things in their place,” he says. That way, you won’t get overwhelmed by the volume of items in your home. If you find yourself avoiding the task, just remember, decluttering benefits you—and your family—in important ways. As Elbert says, “Decluttering, in combination with creating easyto-maintain systems, is a great way to turn your home into the sanctuary you and your family deserve.”

TIPS FOR DECLUTTERING SUCCESS Giving your whole house an overhaul in one day can be overwhelming, so start with these tips to get in the groove. Start small. If you are overwhelmed by the entire house, tackle one space at a time, suggests Jane Stoller, professional organizer and author of Decluttering for Dummies. For example, attack the kitchen junk drawer or an unruly closet. Alternatively, choose one category— papers, sweaters, or that Tupperware collection. Use a timer. “Set a timer for 15 minutes and see how much you can accomplish,” says Marty Basher, home organization expert for Modular Closets, who finds that 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time to bring order to a bathroom cabinet or a heaping pile of mail. Elsa Elbert, professional organizer and owner of Composed Living, says other easy-to-tackle spots are sock drawers and kids’ dressers, along with shelves of expired food in the pantry. Start with non-sentimental items. Going through the kids’ artwork or baby clothes can be hard because of all the emotions attached, so begin your decluttering with items that aren’t laden with sentiment, Basher says. Choose a donation spot. “Every time you find anything you don’t love or no longer use, immediately place it in the donation station,” Elbert says. Put an appointment on your calendar to drop things off monthly (or less frequently, depending on how much it piles up), Basher suggests. “If you want to make a little extra money, sell your items on eBay or your local Facebook marketplace,” he suggests.

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Go room by room. Divvying up the task makes it far more manageable. Once you’ve selected a room, be prepared to go through and categorize items into piles for toss, donate/sell, and keep, Basher says. Make sure to put an organizational system in place so closets and tables don’t revert to their pre-decluttering look. “The key is to make sure everything has a place or a ‘home,’” he adds. Cut down on keepsakes. Consider having a curated—not comprehensive—collection of your little ones’ arts-and-crafts projects. “For your own personal memorabilia and those of your kids, sort through your keepsakes and think hard about their importance,” Basher says. “Only keep items that you feel will be important to look back at years from now, or ones to share with your kids.”

NYMetroParents.com/register LongIslandParent 17


family life

insurance

Get Insured

››

How to choose and sign up for a health insurance plan if your company doesn’t offer one By Emma Steven

I

f you don’t receive health insurance from an employer, getting covered can be a daunting process, especially with dependents. Many people consult a broker or an agent, but before making any choices, it’s important to do your homework. To help you sort out the complex options, we spoke to health care experts about how best to choose a plan.

Know Your Timing

The most important thing to remember when it comes to buying health insurance is there is a limited period of time each year— open enrollment season—when you are able to enroll in a new plan (or make a change, such as being added to a spouse’s plan). One of the most common mistakes people make is they miss this window, says Lisa Zamosky, spokesperson for private online health insurance exchange eHealth and author of Healthcare, Insurance, and You: The Savvy Consumer’s Guide. “The window has shortened in the last two years. It’s now just a month and a half,” she says. In our area, open enrollment runs through Dec. 15, 2019, with coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2020. Open enrollment periods for employer plans vary. Remember: It’s impossible to enroll at any other time, unless you have what qualifies as special enrollment—a change of circumstances, such as losing your job, getting married, or having a baby. New York is one of the only states in the U.S. that considers pregnancy a special enrollment event.

Decide What You Need

Some folks may qualify for Medicaid and/or Child Health Insurance Protection—visit health.ny.gov for more information. Most people, however, will have to choose a plan depending on their individual medical needs. This can get confusing. “One of the most common mistakes people make is focusing exclusively on the monthly premium,” Zamosky says. “That’s really important. It’s got to fit into your budget. But it’s also really important to understand how the things that you need are covered.” For example, consider how often you go to the doctor, your medications, and what you seek in preventative care. Brittney Castro, Certified Financial Planner and expert at Investopedia.com has this advice: “Anytime you shop for insurance…start with looking at the policy offer (what is it covering?) and the benefits you want,” she says. “Start there and see what the cost comes out to be, then compare it against your budget and see if that’s realistic. Then you can start to eliminate certain bits of the coverage to get that premium down to a level that you feel you could afford.”

Types of Plans

Don’t just choose a plan at random. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons of each, then select the best one for you and your family. Here is an overview of the various health insurance plans available. 18 December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

Spouse Plans If you are married, check if your spouse’s employer offers coverage as part of his or her benefits package. You can be added to the plan during the open enrollment period or under special enrollment. If you aren’t married, many employers also offer domestic partner benefits to their employees. This can be tricky: Domestic partner benefits are not tax-free like the premiums paid for a spouse; on the other hand, employers may help cover the cost of these premiums. Before you go this route, Zamosky recommends checking the numbers. “More often than not, it’s a better and more cost-effective choice. But there are certainly scenarios where that may not be the case,” she says. “It costs you nothing to go online and take a look at the plans.” If adding everyone to one policy is too expensive, you can search for a new family plan on the Affordable Care Act marketplace, or private exchanges such as eHealth. You may qualify for financial help. Unfortunately, due to a rule colloquially called the “Family Glitch,” even if you qualify for subsidies based on your family income, the system may still count you as having access to an affordable plan because the calculation is based on the individual premium, not the family premium. This means you might not always be eligible for assistance, even if adding your whole family to the plan is unaffordable. COBRA If you recently quit or lost your job, you can keep your old insurance for a limited period thanks to the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act, COBRA for short. This federal law allows you to continue paying for your old plan. The catch? You now have to pick up the entire cost, so it is often very expensive. Plus, you only have 60 days to sign up after your job coverage ends, so you need to move quickly. You can also use COBRA to get coverage if you get a divorce, your insured spouse dies, or you become too old to be on your parents’ plan. The maximum amount of time you can get coverage this way is 18 months, and you can opt out at any time. Exchange Plans Another option is buying a plan on an exchange and, thanks to the ACA, every state now has an insurance marketplace (ours is nystateofhealth.ny.gov), where you can compare plans and choose the best one for you. Each is guaranteed to comply with the ACA’s


rules, such as covering pre-existing conditions and preventative care, and no cap on annual benefits. There are also many subsidies you can apply for. You can buy a plan from the marketplace online, on the phone, via a paper form, through a private exchange, or direct from a broker or agent. Again, you can only do this during open enrollment or special enrollment. What many people don’t realize is the state marketplace doesn’t include all ACA-compliant plans offered by insurers. “If you don’t qualify for subsidies, it’s a good idea to have a look at something like eHealth or speak to a broker, because there may be a plan that isn’t on the state marketplace that could be good for you,” Zamosky says. Small Business Owners One exception to the open enrollment period rule is available to small business owners. If you run a small business with two or more full-time employees, you can buy something called small business plan insurance. These are ACA-compliant and often work out to be very good value, Zamosky says. If you don’t have your own business, there are many business associations that offer health insurance plans. For example, if you are one of the 57 million freelance workers in the United States, you can buy a plan through the Freelancer Union (freelancersunion.org). There are 450,000 members nationwide, and it’s free to join. Association plans like this can only be joined during open enrollment or special enrollment. High-Deductible Health Plans With HDHPs, you pay a lower monthly premium because your deductible is high. They are often offered by employers alongside a Health Savings Account they contribute to, but HDHPs can be bought individually. Before deciding on one of these plans, it’s very important to figure out if it makes sense based on your specific medical needs. According to Zamosky, there are two types of people who this plan suits: those who rarely visit the doctor and so save money with the low premium, and those who anticipate high costs (such as people planning surgery in the next year) who benefit from the cap on the out-ofpocket expenses. Whatever path you choose, don’t opt out. No insurance means you won’t be able to take care of your health with regular check-ups and preventative care. You won’t be prepared in the case of an accident if you need medical attention or hospitalization. Medical bills can quickly add up if you don’t have insurance, and are a leading cause of bankruptcy, according to ACTIVITIES EVENTS MORE “I a recent study by the American Public Health Association. would never recommend that as a financial planner—or as just a citizen,” Castro says. Emma Steven is a British freelance writer living in Manhattan with her husband, two small kids, and two cats.

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Spend Your Holiday Break at the Fish Hatchery & Aquarium HOMEMADE PLAYDOUGH MAKING • Dec. 27th•11am-3pm Make your own homemade playdough. Use the Hatchery's animals as your inspiration and get creative!

LIVE ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS • Dec. 26th & 28th • 11am-3pm

Learn about the Hatchery’s reptiles and amphibians

HATCHERY TOURS• Dec. 26th & 28th • 11am Learn how we care for the fish in our hatchery

ANIMAL TRACKS: Who’s Been Here? • Dec. 31st • 2pm

Who’s making that strange footprint in your backyard? Identify animal tracks & make your own track to take home!

TROUT FEEDING DEMONSTRATIONS • Dec. 26th & 28th • 1pm-3pm Watch trout jump & splash as they devour a diet of fish food

NEW YEAR’S DAY HIKE • Jan. 1st • 11am

Come and learn about Long Island winter habitats and end your visit with a guided nature hike. FAMILY FRIENDLY!

www.cshfishhatchery.org | 516-692-6768 | 1660 Rte. 25A, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

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Holiday Fun in

things to do

city bound

By Melissa Wickes

Courtesy Bronx Zoo

Courtesy Chabad Family Programs of the West Side

W he hile y re ou , v ’r isit e …

Enjoy holiday lights, take a ride on the holiday train, enjoy the music of carolers, watch an ice carving competition, and snap the perfect Instagram with a costumed character.

Chanukah on Ice NYC is celebrating its 13th year.

The Festival of Lights… on Ice!

Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo is a family favorite all year round. Enjoy the classics, like the sea lion feeding and penguin feeding, or get up close and personal with one of your favorite animals such as a cheetah, a giraffe, a penguin, or a sloth. Some exhibits are weather-dependent, so be sure to check which exhibits are open before visiting on the Bronx Zoo app. Visit it: 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx; 718-220-5100; bronxzoo.com Can’t-miss event: Holiday Lights; Nov. 20-Dec. 31, Jan. 3-5 (excluding Dec. 24-25). $29.95 ages 13 and older; $22.95 ages 3-12. $28.95 seniors. Free for children 2 and younger. Use code HOLIDAY10 for a 10-percent discount. Directions: Approximately a 45-minute minute drive or 1-hour and 30-minute LIRR and subway ride from Garden City

Courtesy Bryant Park Winter Village

Courtesy Dutch Blythe Fashion via Flickr

Celebrate Hanukkah the cool way at the Lasker Rink in North Central Park. At Chanukah on Ice NYC, the Chabad Family Programs of the West Side invites families to enjoy Jewish music under the stars, traditional treats such as latkes and doughnuts, and of course, the lighting of the 6-foot ice menorah. Dec. 22, 5-8pm. In advance: $32 with skate rental, $24 without skate rental. At door: $35 with skate rental, $28 without skate rental. Use code NYMetro for 10-percent discount online. Ages 3 and older. chanukahonicenyc.com

You can get a good view of the Rockefeller Center ChristmasTree from Rockefeller Plaza, the Channel Gardens, or on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th streets.

Let There Be Light!

Every year, New Yorkers look forward to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting. The ceremony begins Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7pm and the lights come on at 9pm, but if you want a good view, we recommend you get there as early as possible (some people camp out starting early in the morning!). In addition to the illumination of the 77-foot tall Norway spruce, you’ll enjoy musical performances by Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Lea Michele, the Radio City Rockettes, and more! Free. rockefellercenter.com 20

N Y C

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

Visit the Bryant Park website for information on 2020 Kids Week, with skating, crafts, and more fun for kids.

Bryant Park

This winter wonderland is home to NYC’s only free-admission ice rink, a bar and food hall, a variety of winter-themed activities, and so much more. The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is Manhattan’s one-stop shop for holiday fun for the whole family. Browse unique gifts at the open-air market with artisans from NYC and beyond or cozy up with your loved ones at The Lodge for a snack and a warm drink. See website for schedule and admission pricing. bryantpark.org Directions: Approximately a 1-hour drive or a 50-minute LIRR and subway ride from Garden City


Ideas When You Need Them:

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

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Turn the page for details on Laurie Berkner with Susie Lampert in a Holiday Celebration Concert (No. 3 on our list).

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DECEMBER CALENDAR

22 Editor’s Hot Tickets 23 We Can’t Believe It’s FREE! 24 Crafty Kids 25 Special Needs WANT US TO INCLUDE YOUR EVENT?

nymetroparents.com/submitevent UPDATED DAILY AT nymetroparents.com/calendar

nassaucal@davlermedia.com

26 Animal Lovers, Show Time!

28 Fun Fairs & Festivals, Kindness Crusaders 29 Smarty Pants, Once Upon a Time 30 Holiday Fun 31 Movers and Shakers 32 Mini Musicians, Little Foodies


1

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!

1

Festival of Trees

WHEN: Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 10am-5pm WHERE: Cradle of Aviation, Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City AGES: All WHAT: A holiday extravaganza that features live entertainment, Santa, free indoor ice-skating, Star Wars Saturday, kids activities, and entrance to Cradle of Aviation museum. WHY WE LOVE IT: Check out beautifully decorated trees and delicious gingerbread, all for sale! WANT TO GO? $15; $10 for children; free for children 2 and younger. 516-572-4111. cpnassau.org.

Holiday Tales at the Castle

2

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 8, 1-4pm WHERE: Sands Point Preserve, 127 Middle Neck Road, Sands Point AGES: All WHAT: Join the holiday cheer with a celebration of holiday traditions from around the world, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. WHY WE LOVE IT: The Great Hall will be filled with fun children’s crafts, including an enormous holiday mural! WANT TO GO? $20 per car; $10 per car for members. 516-571-7901. sandspointpreserve.org.

3

Laurie Berkner with Susie Lampert in a Holiday Celebration Concert

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 8, 3pm WHERE: The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Best-selling children’s recording artist and preschool television favorite Laurie Berkner invites everyone to share the spirit of the season when she presents a live holiday concert with longtime band mate Susie Lampert. 22

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: Hear holiday songs as well as greatest hits! WANT TO GO? $19.50 and up. 631-673-7300. paramountny.com.

4

2019 Kids Holiday Festival

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 8, 10am-4pm WHERE: Hilton Huntington Hotel, 598 Broadhollow Road, Melville AGES: 3-12 WHAT: The family fun includes bouncy houses, face painting, live music, balloon twisting, gingerbread decorating, a magic show, arts and crafts tables, raffles, and prizes. WHY WE LOVE IT: There’s something for every kid, with a gaga pit, a toddler soft play area, and even an Elsa appearance with fun games and pictures! WANT TO GO? $10; $5 in advance; free for infants 6 months and younger; additional fee for activities. 347-757-8371. eventbrite.com/ e/2019-kids-holiday-festival-tickets-74811097005.

Ohman’s New York Dance Theatre ‘The Nutcracker’

5

WHEN: Dec. 14-15, Saturday-Sunday, 12pm and 5pm WHERE: Hofstra University John Cranford Adams Playhouse, 118 Hofstra University, Hempstead AGES: All WHAT: A full and festive production ballet with guest artists from leading companies and a cast of 80 children! Performed in the tradition of George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet production WHY WE LOVE IT: This is the largest production of The Nutcracker on Long Island! WANT TO GO? $30-$42. 631-462-6266. ohmanballet.org.

6

Sugar Plum Ball

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 15, 12-4pm WHERE: Chateau Briand, Old Country Road, Carle Place AGES: 3-12, adult


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WHAT: Includes dinner, waltz lessons, a Nutcracker ballet performance, a DJ and magic show, a corsage from the Sugar Plum Fairy, raffles, and a parting gift bag for each girl! WHY WE LOVE IT: It’s a wonderful experiential gift if you want to cut back on material presents. WANT TO GO? $100; $75 children. 516-378-2000. cpnassau.org.

7

Holiday Winter Wonderland

WHEN: Nov. 29-Dec. 22, Saturday-Sunday, 10am-5pm WHERE: White Post Farms of Melville, 250 Old Country Road, Melville AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Take your picture with Santa and visit the animals in the indoor heated wonderland. WHY WE LOVE IT: There’s the bubble rain ride and pony rides available too. WANT TO GO? $16.95. 631-351-9373. whitepostfarms.com.

Winter Wonderland Pajama Party

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WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 25, 9:30am-12pm WHERE: Sid Jacobson JCC, 300 Forest Drive, East Hills AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy breakfast, playtime, crafts, PJ Library story time, community service projects, and a performance of Bubbe’s House for Chanukah by Mainstages! WHY WE LOVE IT: Families may bring a new or gently used children’s book to be donated to The Book Fairies. WANT TO GO? $20 per family; free for members. 516-484-1545. sjjcc.org.

9

A Christmas Carol

WHEN: Nov. 29-Dec. 30, see website for showtimes WHERE: Long Island Children’s Museum, 11 Davis Avenue, Garden City AGES: All WHAT: See this new version of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol through the art of puppetry. WHY WE LOVE IT: Victorian-costumed holiday revelers welcome audience members to step back in time as they enter the theater. WANT TO GO? $14 museum admission, plus $9 show ticket; $12 show ticket only; free museum admission for members, plus $7 show ticket. 516-224-5800. licm.org.

Big Apple Circus

WHEN: Oct. 12-Feb. 2, 2020, see website for showtimes WHERE: Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: Catch the 42nd season of this world-renowned circus, celebrating the heartbeat, everyday delights, and spirit of New York City with astounding talent from around the world, led by Brooklyn-born singer and Ringmaster Storm Marrero. WHY WE LOVE IT: All your classic circus delights in a climatecontrolled Big Top tent with tiered seating, perfect for families with young children. WANT TO GO? $35 and up; free for children younger than 3 (on lap). 212-721-6500. bigapplecircus.com.

WE CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S FREE

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.

Intel Game Night: ‘Fortnite’ Friday FREE

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 6, 5:30-7pm WHERE: Microsoft Store, Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Road, Garden City AGES: 13 and older WHAT: Join your local Fortnite community and test your skills in a tournament for prizes! Register online. WANT TO GO? 516-368-0060. smash.gg/intelfortnite.

Potionology 101 FREE

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 4-5pm WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: 6 and older WHAT: Mix, stir, and concoct the ideal lava flow for an exploding volcano, make elephant toothpaste and unicorn poop, and concoct the ideal slime mixture. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.

Nassau Lionel Operating Engineers Winter 2019 Open House FREE

WHEN: Dec. 6-15, Friday, 8-10pm; Saturday-Sunday, 1-4pm WHERE: Nassau Lionel Operating Engineers, 2953 Hempstead Turnpike, Levittown AGES: All WHAT: See a large display of holiday and non-holiday themed passenger and freight trains which will delight the young no matter what their age! WANT TO GO? 516-735-6370. nloe.org.

Mail a Letter to Santa FREE

WHEN: Through Dec. 16: Saturday-Thursday, 8am-6pm; Friday, 8am-8pm WHERE: Hicks Nurseries, 100 Jericho Turnpike, Westbury AGES: All WHAT: Mail a letter to Santa and get a response! Please include a selfaddressed stamped envelope to receive a response. WANT TO GO? 516-334-0066. hicksnurseries.com.

Crafts for Kids: Ring in the New Year! Party Hat & Popper FREE

WHEN: Dec. 28-29, Saturday-Sunday, 11am-3pm WHERE: Lakeshore Learning Store, 2079 Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Get ready for the New Year with Lakeshore Learning! WANT TO GO? 516-616-9360. lakeshorelearning.com. ››

10

LongIslandParent 23


Crafts for Kids: Festive Winter Lights FREE

WHEN: Dec. 7-8, 11am-3pm WHERE: Lakeshore Learning Store, 2079 Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Lakeshore Learning provides everything you need to make this special holiday craft! WANT TO GO? 516-616-9360. lakeshorelearning.com.

Kids Holiday Centerpiece Presented by Paumanacke Garden Club FREE

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 9, 4:30-5:15pm WHERE: Wantagh Public Library, 3285 Park Ave., Wantagh AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Learn how to design a beautiful holiday arrangement and leave with your own floral creation! Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-221-1200. wantaghlibrary.org.

CRAFTY KIDS Craft-a-Wrap: A Drop-in Activity for Kids

WHEN: Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Saturday-Sunday, 10am-1pm WHERE: Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury AGES: All WHAT: Before or after a visit to Santa, children can create wrapping paper for that perfect holiday gift. WANT TO GO? $12; $10 seniors; $7 children ages 7-17; free for kids 6 and younger and members. 516-333-0048. oldwestburygardens.org.

DIY Pop Sockets! FREE

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 2, 3-4pm WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: 10-17 WHAT: Decorate your own pop socket or make one as a gift for someone you care about. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.

Maker Mondays FREE

WHEN: Through Dec. 2: Mondays, 4-4:45pm WHERE: Wantagh Public Library, 3285 Park Ave., Wantagh AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Collaborate, design, and build using kits and materials that encourage hands-on free play and learning. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-221-1200. wantaghlibrary.org.

Holiday Craft FREE

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 4:15-5pm WHERE: Floral Park Library, 17 Caroline Place, Floral Park AGES: 5-8 WHAT: Make some cute DIY gifts for you to give out during the holidays. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-326-6330. floralparklibrary.org.

Christmas Countdown Calendar FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 7, 9am-12pm WHERE: Home Depot, 600 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Create your own countdown to the holidays. Register online. WANT TO GO? 516-488-8500. homedepot.com. 24

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

Holiday Cheer Take-and-Make Craft FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 14, 11:30am-12:30pm WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: All WHAT: Make a holiday craft and enjoy a snack. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.

Gingerbread Paint Event

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 14, 1-2:30pm WHERE: Key to My Art East Rockaway, 131 Main St., East Rockaway AGES: 3-17 WHAT: Price includes all supplies, canvas, paint, and step by step instruction. Register online. WANT TO GO? $20. 516-218-2920. keytomyart.com.

Family Fun with ARTful Adventures: Washed Up Art

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 14, 11:15am-1pm WHERE: Hofstra University Museum of Art, 112 Hofstra University, Hempstead AGES: 5-10, adult WHAT: Create a collage that makes a statement using pictures of washed up objects we use every day. WANT TO GO? $12; $10 in advance. 516-463-5672. hofstra.edu.

Starry Night Winter Light Up Canvas FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2:30-3:30pm WHERE: Oceanside Library, 30 Davison Ave., Oceanside AGES: 9-12 WHAT: Paint a winter scene then finish by adding lights for a sparkly starry night. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-766-2360. oceansidelibrary.com.

Natural Ornament Workshop

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 14, 10am-4pm WHERE: Garvies Point Museum, 50 Barry Drive, Glen Cove AGES: All WHAT: Drop in and create beautiful ornaments from woods and water. WANT TO GO? $4; $2 children ages 5-12. 516-571-8010. garviespointmuseum.com.

Ugly Holiday Sweater Ties FREE

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 4:30-5pm WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: 6 and older WHAT: Decorate a tie to look like an ugly Christmas sweater or a Hanukkah dreidel to wear for the holidays. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.


Making a Music Video FREE

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 4-6pm WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: 8 and older WHAT: Learn how to take pictures, graphics, and music to create a music video. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.

Winter Wonderland Pop-Up Cards FREE

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 6-8pm WHERE: Wantagh Public Library, 3285 Park Ave., Wantagh AGES: 11-17 WHAT: Learn how to make pop-up greeting cards with a winter wonderland theme. WANT TO GO? 516-221-1200. wantaghlibrary.org.

WHERE: Key to My Art East Rockaway, 131 Main St., East Rockaway AGES: 5-17 WHAT: Price includes all supplies, canvas, paint, and step by step instruction. Must register online in advance. WANT TO GO? $20. 516-218-2920. keytomyart.com.

Painting Party Presented by Key to My Art FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 28, 9:15am (kindergarten-third grades); 10:45am (fourth-sixth grades) WHERE: Baldwin Public Library, 2385 Grand Ave., Baldwin AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Join the library for a step-by-step painting class. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-223-6228. baldwinpl.org.

Cocoa & Crafts

WHEN: Through Dec. 18: Wednesdays, 11:30am WHERE: Floral Park Library, 17 Caroline Place, Floral Park AGES: 13 and older WHAT: This knitting and crocheting group welcomes all. WANT TO GO? 516-326-6330. floralparklibrary.org.

WHEN: Dec. 26-28, Thursday-Saturday, 10am-4pm WHERE: Garvies Point Museum, 50 Barry Drive, Glen Cove AGES: All WHAT: Drop in and make a fun craft featuring pinecone critters, bird feeders, and more, plus enjoy some hot cocoa. WANT TO GO? $4; $2 children ages 5-12. 516-571-8010. garviespointmuseum.com.

The Velveteen Rabbit: A Holiday Classic FREE

Teen Vacation Party Art Event FREE

Made with Love FREE

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 20, 4-5pm WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Decorate your own stuffed rabbit to take home with you for the holidays and enjoy a short film. Refreshments will be served. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 30, 3-4pm WHERE: Floral Park Library, 17 Caroline Place, Floral Park AGES: 13-17 WHAT: Create something wonderful with Kristin & Alison from Party Art Studio! Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-326-6330. floralparklibrary.org.

Hanukkah Paint Event

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 21, 1-2:30pm WHERE: Key to My Art East Rockaway, 131 Main St., East Rockaway AGES: All WHAT: Price includes all supplies, canvas, paint, and step by step instruction. Register online. WANT TO GO? $20. 516-218-2920. keytomyart.com.

SPECIAL NEEDS Santa Cares (Autism Speaks Sensory-Friendly Santa Photo)

WHEN: Dec. 21-22, Saturday-Sunday, 11am-3pm WHERE: Lakeshore Learning Store, 2079 Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Make an ornament to use year after year. WANT TO GO? 516-616-9360. lakeshorelearning.com.

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 8, 9-10:30am WHERE: Broadway Commons, 358 N. Broadway Mall, Hicksville AGES: All WHAT: Children within every spectrum of special needs and their families are invited to a private photo session with Santa Claus. Please reserve your complimentary ticket on Eventbrite. WANT TO GO? Photo packages available to purchase. 516-822-6336. eventbrite.com/e/broadway-commons-128-santa-cares-tickets-73350185379.

Floral Park CREW Presents: Teen Trash to Treasure Craft FREE

Special Needs Storytime FREE

Perler Bead Club FREE

Computer Science Education Week: All Kids Code with Tynker Space Quest for Deaf Students FREE

Free Crafts for Kids: Thumbprint Keepsake Holiday Ornament FREE

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 27, 2-3:30pm WHERE: Floral Park Library, 17 Caroline Place, Floral Park AGES: 13-17 WHAT: Create your own work of art using paper and other items. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-326-6330. floralparklibrary.org. WHEN: Friday, Dec. 27, 4-6pm WHERE: Wantagh Public Library, 3285 Park Ave., Wantagh AGES: 9-12 WHAT: Make your own perler bead creations and add a magnet or key chain to your finished design. WANT TO GO? 516-221-1200. wantaghlibrary.org.

Fortnite Paint Event: Paint Tomato Head WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 28, 1-2:30pm

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 6:30pm WHERE: Shelter Rock Public Library, 165 Searingtown Road S., Albertson AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Join the library for stories, songs, sensory activities, and a craft designed for children with special needs and a parent or caregiver. WANT TO GO? 516-248-7363. srpl.org.

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 1-2:30pm WHERE: Microsoft Store, Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Road, Garden City AGES: 6 and older WHAT: Deaf students will use beginner-friendly coding puzzles to guide characters in space. RSVP required. WANT TO GO? 516-368-0060. microsoft.com/en-us/store/event_registration/?eid=2137455426&locid=95009. ››

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Seal Watching Cruise Long Island

WHEN: Through April 26, 2020, Saturday-Sunday, 12-2pm WHERE: Freeport Water Taxi & Tours, 211 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy a leisurely tour of the local bays in the comfort of a 44-foot enclosed boat and encounter seals and other wildlife. WANT TO GO? $25; $15 children ages 5-10; free for children 4 and younger. 516-521-7744. freeportwatertaxi.com.

SHOW TIME! Plaza Theatrical Presents ‘Pinkalicious’

ANIMAL LOVERS Tiny Tots: ‘Nature Discoveries’: Happy Holidays FREE

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 10:30-11:30am WHERE: Jones Beach Nature Center, 1 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh AGES: 3-5 WHAT: These programs will connect children and their parents with nature through short walks, animal visitors, and crafts. Please call for location details. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-780-3295. parks.ny.gov.

Pet Photos with Santa

WHEN: Through Dec. 15: Sundays, 7pm WHERE: Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Road, Garden City AGES: All WHAT: A chance to get your furry friend’s keepsake picture taken with Santa. WANT TO GO? Photo packages available to purchase. 516-742-8001. simon.com.

Pet Photos with Santa

WHEN: Through Dec. 17: Tuesdays, 7-9pm WHERE: Broadway Commons, 358 N. Broadway Mall, Hicksville AGES: All WHAT: Domestic pets can take a keepsake photo with Santa Paws! WANT TO GO? Photo packages available to purchase. 516-822-6336. atbroadwaycommons.com.

Winter Owl Prowl

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 21, 4-5pm and 5:30-6:30pm WHERE: Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury AGES: All WHAT: A wildlife expert brings live owls for a meet and greet and later leads the outdoor search. Then stick around for cider, cookies, and visit Santa. Advanced registration required. WANT TO GO? $15; $12 members; $10 kids ages 7-17; $7 member kids ages 7-17; free for kids 6 and younger. 516-333-0048. oldwestburygardens.org.

World Wildlife Live Animal Show FREE

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 26, 2pm WHERE: Baldwin Public Library, 2385 Grand Ave., Baldwin AGES: 5-12 WHAT: See some of the most fascinating wild creatures who share our world with us. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-223-6228. baldwinpl.org.

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December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

WHEN: Nov. 23-Dec. 1, see website for showtimes WHERE: The Showplace at the Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Ave., Bellmore AGES: All WHAT: Pinkalicious can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. WANT TO GO? $12. 516-599-6870. plazatheatrical.com.

‘Celtic Christmas’

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 1, 3:00pm WHERE: Madison Theatre at Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre AGES: 9 and older WHAT: A Celtic Christmas is a recreation of The Night Before Christmas in the West of Ireland in the 1940s, with traditional Irish music, carols, Irish dancing, and storytelling. WANT TO GO? $40 and up. 516-323-4444. madisontheatreny.org.

‘Double Dare Live’ hosted by Marc Summers

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 6, 7:30pm WHERE: Tilles Center, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville AGES: All WHAT: Double Dare Live will bring all the action and excitement of Nickelodeon’s hugely popular TV show to the stage. WANT TO GO? $35 and up. 516-299-3100. tillescenter.org.

‘Rosie Revere, Engineer & Friends’

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 7, 11am WHERE: Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St., Port Washington AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Theaterworks’ engaging production brings the STEM curriculum to the stage with music and live action. WANT TO GO? $20; $17 friends of Landmark. 516-767-1384. landmarkonmainstreet.org.

Cirque Musica ‘Holiday Wishes’

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 7, 7pm WHERE: NYCB LIVE, Home of The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale AGES: All WHAT: Audiences will be amazed by the acrobats, aerialists, hilarious hijinks, and holiday cheer. WANT TO GO? $38.50 and up. 516-231-4848. nycblive.com.

Arabian Nights Princess Event

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 8, 10am-12pm WHERE: Lolli Bop Cafe & Play, 398 Central Ave., Lawrence AGES: Newborn to 5 WHAT: Enjoy a morning of fun with face paint, arts and crafts, meet and greets, photo ops, and open play! Registration required. WANT TO GO? $25. 516-341-7777. lollibopkids.com.


Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker Ballet 2019’

WHEN: Dec. 6-8, Friday, 7pm; Saturday, 5pm; Sunday, 4pm WHERE: Madison Theatre at Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre AGES: 5 and older WHAT: The only production on Long Island that features a full symphonic orchestra! WANT TO GO? $25 and up. 516-323-4444. madisontheatreny.org.

‘Holiday for Toys’

WHEN: Dec. 7-15, Saturday, 11am; Sunday, 12pm WHERE: The Showplace at the Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Ave., Bellmore AGES: 3-8 WHAT: This enchanting musical about a toy maker and his shop filled with toys, which magically come to life once a year, is perfect for the young and young at heart! WANT TO GO? $12. 516-599-6870. plazatheatrical.com.

Eglevsky Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’

WHEN: Dec. 14-15, Saturday, 2pm and 7pm; Sunday, 2pm WHERE: Tilles Center for Performing Arts LIU Post, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville AGES: All WHAT: Step into this magical world of toy soldiers and colorful characters set to the music of Tchaikovsky. WANT TO GO? $55. 516-299-3100. eglevskyballet.org.

Terry Fator: ‘The Voice of Entertainment’

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 20, 8pm WHERE: NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Road, Westbury AGES: All WHAT: See the America’s Got Talent winner live with his cast of characters. WANT TO GO? $49.50 and up. 516-334-0800. thetheatreatwestbury.com.

Brooklyn Irish Dance Company Presents ‘A Celtic Christmas Story’

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 20, 7:30pm WHERE: Olmstead Theatre, 1 South Ave., Garden City AGES: All WHAT: This holiday-themed, family-friendly theatrical performance combines Irish dancers, musicians, and singers with intoxicating storytelling and eye-catching choreography. WANT TO GO? $45-$65. 929-430-5807. brooklynirishdancecompany.org.

‘A Christmas Carol’

WHEN: Dec. 21-22, Saturday, 11am; Sunday, 12pm WHERE: The Showplace at the Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Ave., Bellmore AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Follow miserly Ebenezer Scrooge as he learns the true spirit of the holidays in this 60-minute holiday musical tradition. WANT TO GO? $12. 516-599-6870. plazatheatrical.com.

AGES: All WHAT: See this theatrical event for the whole family! WANT TO GO? $18-$38. 516-694-3330. culturalartsplayhouse.com.

Nick the Balloonatic FREE

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 27, 2:30-3:30pm WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Learn about the history of balloons and enjoy Nick the Balloonatic’s stunning balloon creations. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.

A Fairy Tale Winter

WHEN: Dec. 27-29, Friday-Saturday, 11am; Sunday 12pm WHERE: The Showplace at the Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Ave., Bellmore AGES: 3-5 WHAT: See Cinderella and Snow White prepare for the Crystal Ball with all your favorite fairy tale characters! WANT TO GO? $12. 516-599-6870. plazatheatrical.com.

Harry Connick Jr’s ‘The Happy Elf’

WHEN: Nov. 23-Dec. 29, see website for schedule WHERE: The Argyle Theatre, 34 W. Main St., Babylon Village AGES: All WHAT: Families will love this festive tale of friendship and believing in yourself! WANT TO GO? $15. 631-230-3500. argyletheatre.com.

Harlem Globetrotters

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 29, 2pm and 7pm WHERE: NYCB LIVE, Home of The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale AGES: All WHAT: This show features a blend of hilarious hijinks and incredible basketball skills including ball handling, high flying dunks, and a new record-breaking attempt. WANT TO GO? $31.50 and up. 516-231-4848. nycblive.com.

‘Frosty the Snowman’

WHEN: Dec. 7-Jan. 4, 2020, see website for schedule WHERE: BroadHollow Theatre at Elmont, 700 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont AGES: All WHAT: Frosty and his friend Jenny must save the town of Chillsville from Ethel Pierpot’s evil plan to melt all the snow. WANT TO GO? $13; $11 in advance. 516-775-4420. broadhollow.org. ››

The Ice Queen Comes to Wood Kingdom West

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 22, 10am-12pm WHERE: Wood Kingdom West, 120 MIlbar Blvd, Farmingdale AGES: 3-5 WHAT: Sing along to “Let it Go” and enjoy muffins and juice while wearing your favorite ice princess attire! WANT TO GO? $20. 631-845-3805. swingsetnow.com.

‘The Nutcracker’

WHEN: Dec. 7-22, see website for showtimes WHERE: The Cultural Arts Playhouse, 170 Michael Drive, Syosset LongIslandParent 27


Model Train Show FREE

WHEN: Dec. 1, 14-15, Saturday-Sunday, 11am-4pm WHERE: TMB Model Train Club, 120 Schmitt Blvd., Farmingdale AGES: All WHAT: See a 4,000-square-foot model railroad with 10 trains running on 19 scale miles of track and the famous train layout that was featured in an episode of The Sopranos. WANT TO GO? 516-660-8099. tmbmodeltrainclub.com.

Magic of Lights

WHEN: Nov. 22-Jan. 4, 2020, Sunday-Thursday, 5-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 5-11pm WHERE: Jones Beach State Park, 1000 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh AGES: All WHAT: The magical route is overflowing with spectacular light displays that bring your favorite holiday themes and characters to life. WANT TO GO? $20 car. magicoflights.com.

FUN FAIRS & FESTIVALS Juried Fine Arts and Craft Fair

WHEN: Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 11am-6pm WHERE: Samanea New York, 1504 Old Country Rd., Westbury AGES: All WHAT: Selected fine arts and craft artists and vendors will sell their works. WANT TO GO? Admission is free; prices vary for goods. 516-223-2522. LIACFreeport.org.

Kids’ Night Out: Santa Claus Is Coming to Town!

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 6, 5:45-8pm WHERE: M.A.T.S.S. Kids’ Gym, 2629 Grand Ave, Bellmore AGES: 3-12 WHAT: See Santa and make a Santa craft and Christmas stocking goodie bag. Includes gym and game time, dinner, and dessert. WANT TO GO? $30; $24 siblings. 516-221-1330. matsskidsgym.com.

Holiday Market

WHEN: Nov. 30-Dec. 8, Saturday-Sunday, 10am-5pm WHERE: Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury AGES: All WHAT: The holiday market features artisanal boutiques offering exquisite gifts. WANT TO GO? $12; $10 seniors 62 and older and students with ID; $7 children ages 7-17; free for members and children 6 and younger. 516-333-0048. oldwestburygardens.com.

Holiday Festival at Coe Hall

WHEN: Dec. 14-15, Saturday-Sunday, 11am-4pm WHERE: Planting Fields Arboretum, 1395 Planting Fields Road, Oyster Bay AGES: All WHAT: Hear carolers sing throughout the house, visit with Santa, enjoy some refreshments, and get into the holiday spirit! WANT TO GO? $10; free for members. 516-922-8678. plantingfields.org.

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KINDNESS CRUSADERS Teen Cuisine: Holiday Mini Cupcake Decorating Donation Event FREE

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 13, 4-5pm WHERE: Floral Park Library, 17 Caroline Place, Floral Park AGES: 13-17 WHAT: Decorate cupcakes for those in need and some to take home. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-326-6330. floralparklibrary.org.

Toys for Tots Open Play

WHEN: Dec. 21-22, Saturday, 10am-12pm; Sunday, 1-3pm WHERE: KZAM, 85 Sea Lane, Farmingdale AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Enjoy two hours of open play when you bring an unwrapped new toy. WANT TO GO? One unwrapped new toy. 631-393-0801. kzamli.com.

Animated Christmas Children’s Story FREE

WHEN: Through Jan. 1, 2020: Saturday-Thursday, 8am-6pm; Friday, 8am-8pm WHERE: Hicks Nurseries, 100 Jericho Turnpike, Westbury AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy the animated Christmas Children’s Story all day, every day. Admission is always free, but Hicks Nurseries ask for the donation of a non-perishable food item to donate to Long Island Cares’ food pantry. WANT TO GO? 516-334-0066. hicksnurseries.com.

Book Drive with The Book Fairies

WHEN: Through Jan. 12, 2020: Tuesday-Sunday, 11am-4:45pm WHERE: Nassau County Museum of Art, 1 Museum Drive, Roslyn Harbor AGES: All WHAT: See the exhibition Picture This! The Art of Children’s Books and donate a new or gently used book. WANT TO GO? $15; $10 seniors 62 and older; $5 children ages 4-12 and students with valid photo ID; free for members and children younger than 4. 516-484-9337. nassaumuseum.org.


SMARTY PANTS

Family Pre-School Hour with A Time for Kids Inc. FREE

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 5, 1-2pm WHERE: Floral Park Library, 17 Caroline Place, Floral Park AGES: 18 months to 5 years WHAT: Enjoy an hour of singing, dancing, storytelling, and a special Hidden Pictures Puzzle craft. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-326-6330. floralparklibrary.org.

Camp Know Where: Rule the Arcade FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 7, 12-2pm WHERE: Microsoft Store, Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Road, Garden City AGES: 9-17 WHAT: Students will put a “Stranger Things” twist on the games, design their sprites after characters and creatures from the show, and do so through in-world inspired storylines. RSVP online. WANT TO GO? 516-368-0060. microsoft.com/en-us/store/event_ registration/?eid=240113875&locid=95009.

Computer Science Education Week: Minecraft Hour of Code FREE WHEN: Monday, Dec. 9, 4-5:30pm WHERE: Microsoft Store, Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Road, Garden City AGES: 6 and older WHAT: Celebrate Computer Science Education Week and have fun learning and being inspired by computer science and AI. RSVP online. WANT TO GO? 516-368-0060. microsoft.com/en-us/store/event_ registration/?eid=1599875526&locid=95009.

Family Pre-School Hour with A Time for Kids Inc. FREE

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 11am-12pm WHERE: Floral Park Library, 17 Caroline Place, Floral Park AGES: 18 months to 5 years WHAT: Enjoy an hour of singing, dancing, storytelling, and a craft. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-326-6330. floralparklibrary.org.

Computer Science Education Week: Latina Girls in Gaming with MakeCode Arcade FREE

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 1-2pm WHERE: Microsoft Store-Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Road, Garden City AGES: 8 and older WHAT: Latina girls will use block coding to create a video game with MakeCode Arcade and learn fundamental game and coding concepts. RSVP online. WANT TO GO? 516-368-0060. microsoft.com/en-us/store/event_ registration/?eid=1112194784&locid=95009.

Let’s Learn to Sign FREE

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 12, 1-1:45pm WHERE: Wantagh Public Library, 3285 Park Ave., Wantagh AGES: Newborn to 5 WHAT: Sign language is a great way to jumpstart communication, reduce frustration, and develop literacy skills for your little one. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-221-1200. wantaghlibrary.org.

Mornings with Mommy & Me

WHEN: Through Dec. 17: Tuesdays, 9:30-10:30am WHERE: Portledge School, 355 Duck Pond Road, Locust Valley AGES: 3-5

WHAT: A place for children to learn, make friends, and have some messy fun too! WANT TO GO? $35. 516-750-3104. portledge.org.

Tiny Tots

WHEN: Dec. 2-19, Monday and Thursday, 9:30-11am WHERE: Center for Science Teaching and Learning-Tanglewood Preserve, 1450 Tanglewood Road, Rockville Center AGES: 18 months to 3 years WHAT: This weekly event introduces your toddler to a wide variety of science topics, teaching them to think and explore in new ways each day! WANT TO GO? $8. 516-764-0045. cstl.org.

ONCE UPON A TIME ‘The Nutcracker’ Preview for Families with Story Time FREE

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 1, 12-4pm WHERE: Barnes and Noble Country Glen Center, 91 Old Country Road, Carle Place AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy a preview of The Nutcracker featuring performances by the children’s cast, ballerina story time with a mini ballet lesson, children’s crafts, holiday photo opportunities, free ticket raffles, and more. WANT TO GO? 516-741-9850. bn.com.

Storytelling by the Fireside ‘Felicity’s Surprise: A Christmas Story’ WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 5, 6-7:30pm WHERE: Rock Hall Museum, 199 Broadway, Lawrence AGES: 56-10 WHAT: Children are invited to listen to this story of American Girl Felicity. Reservations and prepayment required. WANT TO GO? $5. 516-239-1157. friendsofrockhall.org.

Hanukkah Story Time with Tony Award Winner FREE

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 8, 11:30am WHERE: The Dolphin Bookshop & Cafe, 299 Main St., Port Washington AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Join Tony Award-winner Shanna Silva as she reads her new hilarious book Hannah’s Hanukkah Hiccups. WANT TO GO? 516-767-2650. thedolphinbookshop.com.

‘I’m the Gingerbread Man’ FREE

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 9, 4:30-5:15pm WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: 3-5 WHAT: Run, run, run as fast as you can, read a book about the Gingerbread Man! Cookies and drinks to follow. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.

Stem Storytime FREE

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 13, 4-4:45pm WHERE: Wantagh Public Library, 3285 Park Ave., Wantagh AGES: 6-9 WHAT: Explore scientific concepts through stories and fun activities. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-221-1200. wantaghlibrary.org.

Singalong with Anna & Elsa from ‘Frozen’: Presented by Royal Princess Prep FREE WHEN: Monday, Dec. 30, 11am WHERE: Baldwin Public Library, 2385 Grand Ave., Baldwin AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Have fun and sing along with Anna and Elsa, listen to a story, meet them, and take pictures. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-223-6228. baldwinpl.org. ››

LongIslandParent 29


Holiday Kids’ Party

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 7, 2:30-4:40pm WHERE: M.A.T.S.S. Kids’ Gym, 171 Eileen Way, Syosset AGES: 3-12 WHAT: The party features inflatables, edible art, gym time, holiday crafts, games, beverages, dessert...and Santa! WANT TO GO? $28; $22 siblings. 516-496-7765. matsskidsgym.com.

Festive Afternoon

HOLIDAY FUN 1880’s Thanksgiving

WHEN: Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Saturday-Sunday, 10am-4pm WHERE: Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage AGES: All WHAT: See historical cooking demonstrations, including a turkey roasted over an open fire and decorated pumpkin pies baked in a beehive oven. Plus, hear traditional fiddle music, historic legends, and more. WANT TO GO? $14; $8 children ages 5-12, seniors, volunteer firefighters, and persons with disabilities; free for children 4 and younger and active military. 631-930-9054. obvrnassau.com.

Annual Tree Lighting FREE

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 7pm WHERE: Farmingdale Village Green and Gazebo, Main Street, Farmingdale AGES: All WHAT: Join local officials and the community for the annual Holiday Tree Lighting. WANT TO GO? 516-249-0093. farmingdalevillage.com.

Christmas Tree Lighting & Holiday Extravaganza FREE

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 6, 6pm WHERE: Veteran’s Memorial, Bellmore Village, corner of Bedford Avenue and Broadway, Bellmore AGES: All WHAT: Join the Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores for an oldfashioned Christmas featuring Santa, the tree lighting, holiday music, horse and carriage rides, and more. WANT TO GO? 516-679-1875. bellmorechamber.com.

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 8, 4-6pm WHERE: Rock Hall Museum, 199 Broadway, Lawrence AGES: All WHAT: In Colonial America, the New Year was often celebrated with decorations, cider, and sweets. Rock Hall invites you to join for holiday festivities. Reservations requested. WANT TO GO? $10; $8 members and seniors; $5 children. 516-2391157. friendsofrockhall.org.

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony FREE

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 13, 5:30-8pm WHERE: Planting Fields Arboretum, 1395 Planting Fields Road, Oyster Bay AGES: All WHAT: See the Holiday Tree Lighting, enjoy a snack at Magnolia Café, visit with Santa, listen to carolers, and stop in at the gift shop. WANT TO GO? 516-922-8600. plantingfields.org.

Breakfast with Santa

WHEN: Dec. 14-15, Saturday-Sunday, 10am and 12pm WHERE: Stew Leonard’s, 261 Airport Plaza Blvd., Farmingdale AGES: All WHAT: Have breakfast with Santa! Purchase tickets online. WANT TO GO? $16.99; $14.99 ages 10 and younger. 516-962-8210. stewleonards.com.

Brunch with Santa

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 15, 10am, 12pm, and 2pm WHERE: Library Café, 274 Main St., Farmingdale AGES: All WHAT: A special brunch where Santa will hand out treats and take photos. WANT TO GO? $28; $15 children. 516-752-7678. thelibrarycafe.com.

Breakfast with Santa

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 6, 7pm WHERE: Gerngras Park, 31 Staples St., Farmingdale AGES: All WHAT: See the lighting of the Gerngras Park tree. WANT TO GO? 516-249-0093. farmingdalevillage.com.

WHEN: Dec. 14-15, Saturday-Sunday, 9am and 11am WHERE: Stew Leonard’s, 1897 Front St., East Meadow AGES: All WHAT: Families are invited to a special holiday breakfast with Santa and Wow the Cow. Tickets online. WANT TO GO? $14.99; $12.99 children younger than 11. 516-394-9001. stewleonards.com.

First Night and Tree Lighting

Cookies with Santa!

Gerngras Park Tree Lighting FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 7, 6pm and 7:30pm WHERE: Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury AGES: All WHAT: See the tree lighting, greet Santa, and hear the Bethel Concert Choir perform. WANT TO GO? $15; $12 members; $10 children ages 7-17; $7 children members ages 7-17; free for ages 6 and under. 516-333-0048. oldwestburygardens.org.

Breakfast with Santa

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 7, 9-10am WHERE: Broadway Commons, 358 N. Broadway Mall, Hicksville AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy a special breakfast prepared by Panera Bread as they hand out free gifts, play games and trivia, and more! See website to register. WANT TO GO? $10; $5 per child. 516-822-6336. atbroadwaycommons.com. 30

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

WHEN: Dec. 8, 15, and 21, Saturday-Sunday, 10am-12pm WHERE: Wood Kingdom West, 120 Milbar Blvd., Farmingdale AGES: 3-5 WHAT: Santa will be in the room from 10:30-11:30am during playtime so wear your favorite Christmas pajamas and bring your list for Santa’s Mailbox! WANT TO GO? $25. 631-845-3805. swingsetnow.com.

Christmas Celebration

WHEN: Dec. 20-22, see website for schedule WHERE: Madison Theatre at Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre AGES: All WHAT: Take a trip through favorite pastimes of the festive season. This Christmas spectacular will have you singing along to your favorite Christmas tunes, featuring Broadway’s own exceptional performers and designers! WANT TO GO? $35 and up. 516-323-4444. madisontheatreny.org.


Christmas at Westbury House

WHEN: Nov. 29-Dec. 22, see website for schedule WHERE: Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury AGES: All WHAT: With decorated period rooms, Santa, cookies, and cider, this holiday celebration is a must for the entire family. WANT TO GO? $12; $10 seniors 62 and older and students with ID; $7 children ages 7-17; free for members and children ages 6 and younger. 516-252-3392. oldwestburygardens.org.

Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores Menorah Lighting FREE WHEN: Monday, Dec. 23, 6pm WHERE: Veteran’s Memorial, Bellmore Village, corner Bedford Avenue and Broadway, Bellmore AGES: All WHAT: See the lighting of the 10-foot menorah, sing Hanukkah songs, and enjoy giveaways compliments of the Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores. WANT TO GO? 516-679-1875. bellmorechamber.com.

Menorah Lighting FREE

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 23, 4:30-5:30pm WHERE: Broadway Commons, 358 N. Broadway Mall, Hicksville AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate Hanukkah with the lighting of a giant menorah, music, and light refreshments. WANT TO GO? 516-822-6336. atbroadwaycommons.com.

Meet Santa FREE

Kwanzaa Celebration FREE

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 30, 12-2pm WHERE: Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Road, Garden City AGES: All WHAT: Roosevelt Field will again partner with Nassau County to celebrate the traditions of Kwanzaa with music, dance, and more. WANT TO GO? 516-742-8001. simon.com.

MOVERS & SHAKERS Sensational Playtime FREE

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 6, 10:30-11:30am WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: 18 months to 3 years WHAT: This program emphasizes learning and developmental motor skills through play, movement, and interactive story time. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.

Super Smash Tournament FREE

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 16, 3-5pm WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: 9-17 WHAT: Go up against other teens in a game of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Refreshments will be provided. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.

WHEN: Nov. 29-Dec. 23, Monday-Friday, 1-4pm and 5-8pm; SaturdaySunday, 10am-1pm and 2-6pm WHERE: Hicks Nurseries, 100 Jericho Turnpike, Westbury AGES: All WHAT: Meet Santa at Hicks Nurseries! Bring your own camera to take some holiday photos. WANT TO GO? 516-334-0066. hicksnurseries.com.

Escape Room: Stopping the Zombie Apocalypse FREE

Photos with Santa

Holiday Mini-Camp

Photos with Santa

December Holiday School Break Mini-Camp

WHEN: Through Dec. 24: Monday-Saturday, 11am-9pm; Sunday, 11am6pm; Dec. 24, 9am-5pm WHERE: Broadway Commons, 358 N. Broadway Mall, Hicksville AGES: All WHAT: Visit Santa at Broadway Commons! WANT TO GO? Photo packages available to purchase. 516-822-6336. atbroadwaycommons.com. WHEN: Through Dec. 24: see website for schedule WHERE: Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Road, Garden City AGES: All WHAT: Stop by North Court and give Santa your wish list and take a photo. WANT TO GO? Photo packages available to purchase. 516-742-8001. simon.com.

Hanukkah Party

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 27, 1:30-2:30pm or 3-4pm WHERE: Baldwin Public Library, 2385 Grand Ave., Baldwin AGES: 13-17 WHAT: Can you work as a team to stop the zombie apocalypse before it has a chance to begin? Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-223-6228. baldwinpl.org. WHEN: Dec. 27-31, Friday and Monday-Tuesday, 10am-2pm WHERE: M.A.T.S.S. Kids’ Gym, Bellmore Center, 2629 Grand Ave., Bellmore AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Kids enjoy 4 hours of fun, games, crafts, and gymnastics. Lunch and special attractions included! WANT TO GO? $45; multi-day and sibling discounts available. 516-2211330. matsskidsgym.com. WHEN: Dec. 30-31, Monday-Tuesday, 10am-2pm WHERE: M.A.T.S.S. Kids’ Gym, Syosset Center, 171 Eileen Way, Syosset AGES: 3-12 WHAT: There will be lots of games, crafts, gym time, inflatables. Lunch is included. WANT TO GO? $50 per day; $90 for 2 days; sibling discount available. 516-496-7765. matsskidsgym.com. ››

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 29, 2-4:30pm WHERE: Wood Kingdom West, 120 Milbar Blvd., Farmingdale AGES: 3-5 WHAT: Find the treasure chest of gelt, enjoy doughnuts, a menorah lighting, and more. WANT TO GO? $20. 631-845-3805. swingsetnow.com.

Countdown to 12!

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 30, 12-4pm WHERE: Long Island Children’s Museum, 11 Davis Ave., Garden City AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate the arrival of the new year in the tradition of New York’s famous Times Square celebration with a Roaring 20s twist. WANT TO GO? $14; $13 ages 65 and older; free for members and children younger than 1. 516-224-5800. licm.org. LongIslandParent 31


Sounds of the Season FREE

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 4-5pm WHERE: Broadway Commons, 358 N. Broadway Mall, Hicksville AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate the season with a holiday performance by General Douglas MacArthur High School. WANT TO GO? 516-822-6336. atbroadwaycommons.com.

ShaJam by Tkiya

MINI

MUSICIANS Jungle Bungle Friends FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 7, 9:30-10:15am WHERE: Wantagh Public Library, 3285 Park Ave., Wantagh AGES: Newborn to 6 WHAT: Explore nature through stories, soothing sounds of a rain stick, and wooden percussion instruments. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-221-1200. wantaghlibrary.org.

Christmas Concert FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 7, 7pm WHERE: Holy Trinity Orthodox Church of East Meadow, 369 Green Ave., East Meadow AGES: All WHAT: The Choir of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church will present its Annual Christmas Concert featuring a program of Orthodox and Western hymns and carols. After the concert, stay for advent refreshments and a Christmas boutique. WANT TO GO? 516-362-1352. htocem.org.

Long Island Flute Club Holiday Concert

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 8, 1-2:30pm WHERE: Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy holiday favorites performed in the Ballroom by the Long Island Flute Club. WANT TO GO? $12; $10 seniors; $7 children ages 7-17; free for kids ages 6 and younger and members. 516-333-0048. oldwestburygardens.org.

Holy Name of Mary School Hand Bell Choir and Choir Concert

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 14, 1-2pm WHERE: Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury AGES: All WHAT: Holiday favorites performed by the Holy Name of Mary School Hand Bell Choir and Choir of Valley Stream. WANT TO GO? $12; $10 seniors 62 and older and students with ID; $7 children ages 7-17; free for members and children ages 6 and younger. 516-333-0048. oldwestburygardens.org.

Zumbini Holiday Class

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 10:30am WHERE: LI Sports Dome, 5600 Old Sunrise Highway, Massapequa AGES: Newborn to 5 WHAT: Take your little one to a special Holiday Zumbini class and donate an unwrapped toy or book to be given to LI Headstart. Register online. WANT TO GO? $20. 516-429-6642. zumbini.com. 32

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

WHEN: Through Dec. 20: Fridays, 9:30-10:15am WHERE: Sid Jacobson JCC, 300 Forest Drive, East Hills AGES: Newborn to 5 WHAT: Enjoy a fun and interactive family Shabbat experience with music, movement, parachute, shakers, bubbles, and challah! WANT TO GO? $10 per family; free for members. 516-484-1545 x117. sjjcc.org.

Girl Scouts Chorus of Nassau County Concert

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 21, 12-1pm WHERE: Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury AGES: All WHAT: Holiday favorites performed in the Ballroom by the Girl Scout Chorus of Nassau County. WANT TO GO? $12; $10 seniors 62 and older and students with ID; $7 children ages 7-17; free for members and children ages 6 and younger. 516-333-0048. oldwestburygardens.org.

LITTLE FOODIES Holiday Gingerbread House

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 6-6:45pm or 7-7:45pm WHERE: Wantagh Public Library, 3285 Park Avenue, Wantagh AGES: All WHAT: Each family will design their own one-of-a-kind gingerbread house using candy, icing, and cookies. WANT TO GO? $10 per family paid via check at registration. 516-2211200. wantaghlibrary.org.

Family Event: Gingerbread Houses with Chefs of d’Future FREE

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 8, 1:30-2:30pm or 3-4pm WHERE: Floral Park Library, 17 Caroline Place, Floral Park AGES: All WHAT: Julie Reilly of Chefs of d’Future will provide all the goodies you’ll need to create a gingerbread house masterpiece. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-326-6330. floralparklibrary.org.

Cupcake Wars: Holiday Edition FREE

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 4:30-5:30pm WHERE: Wantagh Public Library, 3285 Park Ave., Wantagh AGES: 10-17 WHAT: Teams will compete and decorate cupcakes with a holiday theme. Prizes and certificates will be awarded to the winning team. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-221-1200. wantaghlibrary.org.

After-Hours Gingerbread House Challenge FREE

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 13, 6-7pm WHERE: Wantagh Public Library, 3285 Park Ave., Wantagh AGES: 11-17 WHAT: Have fun designing your own gingerbread house. WANT TO GO? 516-221-1200. wantaghlibrary.org.


7th Annual Long Island Gingerbread & Chocolate House Competition

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 14, 12-4pm WHERE: Chocolate Duck, 310 Main St., Farmingdale AGES: All WHAT: Register by Dec. 12 to compete or see the creations on display during the competition! WANT TO GO? Contact organizer for entry fee. 516-249-0887. farmingdalevillage.com.

Gingerbread Workshop

WHEN: Dec. 14-15, Saturday-Sunday, 10am, 12:30pm, and 3pm WHERE: Old Bethpage Restoration Village, 1303 Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Enjoy decorating a large gingerbread cookie and making crafts. Tickets must be purchased in advance. WANT TO GO? $30. 516-572-8409. etix.com/ticket/e/1011976/ gingerbread-workshop-old-bethpage-old-bethpage-village-specialevents?country=US&language=en.

Gingerbread House FREE

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 15, 1:15-2:45pm or 3-4:30pm WHERE: Baldwin Public Library, 2385 Grand Ave., Baldwin AGES: All WHAT: Each family will build a gingerbread house and decorate it with candy to take home and enjoy for the holidays. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-223-6228. baldwinpl.org.

Mommy and Me with Chefs of d’Future: Gingerbread Men WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 11:30am-12:30pm or 1-2pm WHERE: Floral Park Library, 17 Caroline Place, Floral Park AGES: 2-5 WHAT: Make a sweet holiday gingerbread treat with Miss Julie! Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-326-6330. floralparklibrary.org.

Holiday Cookie Decorating FREE

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 3-4pm WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: 9-17 WHAT: Decorate holiday cookies with different kinds of frosting and decorations. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.

Stories and More: Gingerbread Friends FREE

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 7-8pm WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: 3-5, adult WHAT: Listen to stories and make two crafts, one of which is edible. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.

Children’s Event: Gingerbread Houses with Chefs of d’Future FREE WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 19, 6-7pm OR 7:30-8:30pm WHERE: Floral Park Library, 17 Caroline Place, Floral Park AGES: 3-10, adult WHAT: Miss Julie will provide all the sweet goodies you will need to create a gingerbread house masterpiece. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-326-6330. floralparklibrary.org.

Gingerbread Wars FREE

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 21, 2-3pm WHERE: Mineola Memorial Library, 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola AGES: 5-12, adult WHAT: Teams will compete and create gingerbread houses using graham crackers, candy canes, gum drops, and more. Registration required. WANT TO GO? 516-746-8488. mineolalibrary.info.

Winter Holiday Magic

WHEN: Dec. 19-22, call for times WHERE: What’s Cooking?, 30 E. Main St., Oyster Bay AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Decorate winter holiday gingerbread houses, make festive holiday cookies, and make cozy calzones and hot chocolate! WANT TO GO? $49.95. 516-922-2665. whatscookingny.com.

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LongIslandParent 33


raising kids

Health

Sick Day Rx

››

While your kid may be fighting through the sniffles, you’ve got to field calls from work, arrange child care for tomorrow (just in case), and keep your feverish little monster entertained. It won’t necessarily be fun, but it can be easier. By Katelin Walling

T

he alarm clock rings for school, and your child complains of not feeling well. While fluids and rest are the best treatments when your child is sick, according to Tanya Altmann, M.D., FAAP, pediatrician, mother of two, and American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson, you’ve got some immediate decisions to make. Here’s your prescription for sick days, including when your child should stay home and finding last-minute child care to keep this sick day from turning into a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off-like escapade (hey, it’s okay to keep the kid entertained, but let’s skip the parades).

Going to School vs. Staying Home Nearly 22 million school days are lost each year due to colds, and approximately 38 million school days are lost each year due to the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If your child is starting to feel ill but you don’t want her to contribute too many of her own sick days to those millions of missed school days, you can still send her to school if she has a runny nose, is sneezing, or has a slight cough, says 34

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

Sandhya Katz, M.D., board-certified in pediatric and pediatric emergency medicine. “But send them with instructions of: Always cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and always dispose of used tissues. And send them with a hand sanitizer to keep in their bag so they can constantly clean their hands.” Dr. Katz says you should absolutely not send your child to school when he is feverish, is vomiting more than two times a day, has discharge coming from his eyes, is having trouble breathing, or has a whooping-kind of cough or persistent abdominal pain. If your child is unable to perform daily tasks or be in class for 6-8 hours, Dr. Katz adds, that is also a reason why your child should stay home. When your child has not had a fever for more than 24 hours, is not vomiting, and can sit through a full day of school, she is in the clear to head back to class.

Find last-minute child care. “There are times when you choose to take a somewhat ill child to school because it will seriously inconvenience you.


Other times you don’t want to keep your child home because something special will be missed—a school trip, or a crucial test,” says Susan Bartell, Psy.D., a Port Washington-based child, teen, and parenting psychologist. “We all do it, but let’s face it, it’s not right. If you’re sick you should be home recuperating.” But keeping your child home may not be a cutand-dry situation, especially if both you and your spouse work. Here, a few suggestions for last-minute child care: • Set up an agreement with your partner: If you and your spouse have the flexibility of taking a sick day at work when your child’s sick, take turns on who will stay home each day so one of you isn’t taking all the time off, or consider each working a half-day so neither of you misses a full day of work. • Ask your employer if you have a work-from-home option: Some businesses will allow employees to telecommute for a day or two, which makes it easier for you to care for your child. Just make sure your child understands that you still need to work and can’t give him one-on-one attention all day. • Keep a list of caregivers that may be available at the lastminute: If you have family close by, check with them to see if they’d be willing to care for your child when she has to stay home sick. Another option is asking a friend who works from home to work from your home while keeping an eye on your child. • Call the local hospital: Your neighborhood hospital or pediatrician may offer day care for sick children, or they may know of a sick child drop-in center nearby. (Do this research ahead of time so you’re not scrambling day of.) • Browse online sitter services: Sites such as SitterCity.com, UrbanSitter.com, and Care.com allow you to search for sitters that are available last-minute to care for your child. Full disclosure: Tell the sitter before booking that your child is sick.

Keep the rest of your family healthy. Once school begins, colds spread like wildfire. And if you’re not careful, that school-borne illness your child has can easily spread to the rest of the family. “About 65 percent of all colds are caught in the home,” says Philip Tierno, Ph.D., director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Langone Medical Center. So how do you keep the rest of the family healthy? Dr. Tierno suggests you wash your hands regularly and thoroughly (Dr. Altmann suggests teaching your kids to sing “Happy Birthday” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” twice while washing

KEEP THE BOREDOM AT BAY Our top 10 mellow activities to keep sick kids entertained without wearing them out. Make a fort in your child’s bedroom or the living room where he can nap. Have various story times throughout the day if your child is young. Alternatively, if your child is older, give her some pleasure reading books (not school books). Mix up some Jell-O—the perfect snack for sore throats!—in creative shapes, either with fun-shaped silicone baking molds or ice cube trays, or use a good ol’ cookie cutter. Change location. Being confined to the same spot all day will make anyone restless, so switch between the bedroom and living room. This writer’s favorite place when home sick? Mom and Dad’s bed, which was big enough to snuggle with Fido. Cook up a big pot of chicken noodle soup, which delivers protein, carbohydrates, some vitamins, and other helpful nutrients in an easily digested form. A study at Mount Sinai Medical Center found that hot chicken soup, either the smell or the taste, “appears to possess an additional substance for increasing the flow of nasal mucus,” which helps remove germs from your system and gets you on the way to recovery, according to Sue Castle, in her book Mother Knows Best? The Truth About Mom’s Well-Meaning (But Not Always Accurate) Advice. Dust off that stack of coloring and activity books or print free ones at home (check out crayola.com for seemingly endless options). Legos…need we say more? A little screen time never hurt—cue up movies on Netflix, the Disney Channel, or Nickelodeon. Dawdle in a long, warm bath, especially if your kids love playing in the tub but never get enough time for it before bed. Play a board or card game of bygone days—crazy eights, cribbage (bonus: math skills practice), or Sorry, anyone?

hands for proper cleaning); teach your children the proper etiquette for coughing and sneezing—use a tissue or the crux of your arm—and model these actions to your children; sanitize surfaces in the home—doorknobs, dining surfaces, remote controls, telephones; and practice good food hygiene by sanitizing countertops and cooking surfaces regularly, always use a clean cutting board, and avoid mixing uncooked plantand animal-based foods. It’s also important to discourage kids from touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands and tell them to avoid close contact (such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils) with people who are sick. LongIslandParent 35


raising kids baby

The Palmar Grasp reflex, which happens when you stroke your infant’s palm, is practice for mastering voluntary grasping.

Decoding Infant Reffllflexes ›› Here’s the breakdown on baby’s baffling—but totally normal—built-in behaviors

A

lmost everything about a newborn is overwhelming. On little-to-no sleep, you’re expected to assemble gear that requires an engineering degree. You can’t go out without carrying what feels like the entire contents of your home. Then you start to notice your baby is doing these...weird things. And your new-parent panic kicks in: What. Is. Happening!? No need to worry. Those fascinating, quirky little behaviors are natural, and actually serve a purpose.

What are reflexes?

Reflexes are involuntary, spontaneous movements that are part of normal infant development. Adults have them too; the “knee-jerk” reaction to a tap of your doctor’s hammer is probably the most familiar. Infant developmental reflexes are also known as primitive reflexes, and they arise from the brain stem and spinal cord. “They are generally believed to exist because they have offered a survival benefit to human infants from an evolutionary perspective,” says Lauren Levine, M.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan. Primitive newborn reflexes will generally fade away between 1 and 6 months of age. “If you think that your infant’s reflexes persist past this age, you should let your pediatrician know,” Dr. Levine says. “But I tell parents not to stress about newborn reflexes. A good pediatrician will be assessing them at each well-baby visit without you even realizing it!” 36

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

By Christina Vercelletto

The Rooting Reflex

What: When either side of a baby’s mouth is touched, he’ll turn his head in that direction, open his mouth, and root around. Why: This helps a baby find the nipple and be able to feed. “You can imagine how an infant without these primitive reflexes might not have survived after birth thousands of years ago,” Dr. Levine notes. In the first month of your baby’s life, when she’s learning how to eat and you’re learning how to feed her, you can leverage this reflex. “Stroking the baby’s face at the corner of the mouth can help encourage the baby to latch on or take the nipple in the mouth,” says Victoria Riese, M.D., of Flatiron Pediatrics in Manhattan. “Just be aware that a baby will root any time the cheek or corner of the mouth is stroked, so don’t mistake the reflex for a sign of hunger, especially if the baby has just eaten.”

The Sucking Reflex

What: When the roof of a baby’s mouth is touched, she immediately starts sucking. (Newborns also have a strong urge to put their fists in their mouths and suck on their own fingers.) Why: Newborns’ neurological systems are immature in the first six months of life. “There needs to be a fail-safe method for the baby to get nourishment without any purposeful behavior, and then growth and development can follow,” Dr. Riese says. (This particular reflex isn’t completely cemented in utero until about 36 weeks, which is


 

why preemies often have a compromised ability to feed.) Sucking in general is soothing to babies, a secondary function of this reflex that probably developed to motivate babies to suck to get milk. “When a baby is fussy, putting a clean finger or pacifier in her mouth is extremely soothing and will help calm her very easily, especially if she has recently eaten and is not hungry,” Dr. Riese says. “This is one of the most useful methods to calm babies.”

  

The Moro (aka Startle) Reflex

What: In reaction to a sound or nearby sudden movement, a newborn throws back his head, extends his arms and legs out, then pulls his legs and arms back in. He might cry as well. Some babies even display this reflex in response to their own cry. “They are often the reason babies wake themselves up from sleep,” Dr. Levine says. “This is why swaddling infants helps them to sleep better. Their arms are tucked in and can’t flail about.” Why: “The reflex movement adjusts the baby’s posture to keep him or her balanced. Once a baby develops more voluntary control over movements, these automatic responses fade away,” says Devorah Segal, M.D., Ph.D., pediatric neurologist at New York-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital and Weill Cornell Medicine in Manhattan. And a good sense of balance is quite useful for a new human to have. For one thing, it can make it easier to grab onto your mother if she should start to lose her grip on you.

The Tonic Neck (aka the Fencing Position) Reflex

What: When your baby is lying down, and his head is turned to one side, the arm on that same side extends out, while the other arm bends at his elbow, like a fencer would stand. Why: Much like the Moro reflex, Dr. Segal explains, this one likely originated as an automatic protective response to help maintain balance. After six months or so, “more purposeful balancing motions replace it,” she says.

The Palmar Grasp (aka Grip) Reflex

What: Stroking your baby’s palm spurs her to close her fingers in a grasp. (A similar lesser-known reflex in the feet and toes usually lasts until babies are about 9 months old.) Why: It’s practice, essentially, for being able to master voluntary grasping, which will happen in a few months. Some experts call it a vestigial reflex, meaning its evolutionary purpose is no longer useful. It is thought to have originated as a way for babies to hang onto their mothers’ fur when humans were hairier. That alleviated the need for a mother to hold onto her baby while trying to, say, run from a predator.



 

 

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success. In situations where school districts aren’t …‘’Ž›‹‰™‹–Š–Š‡Žƒ™ǡ•Ǥ†Ž‡”Ǧ ”‡‡‡–ƒ†‡–‡”‹‡†ǡ ‡š’‡”‹‡…‡†ƒ––‘”‡›–…ƒƒ†˜ƒ…‡ƒ”‡•‘Ž—–‹‘–Šƒ–„‡•– serves your child’s wellǦ„‡‹‰ƒ†‡†—…ƒ–‹‘Ǥ Laura Adler-Greene, Esq.



The Stepping Reflex

LOOKING FOR

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GREAT

GREAT DEALS?

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What: Despite not being able to support his own weight, your baby moves his legs as though walking, even dancing, when you’re holding him upright with his feet touching a solid surface. Why: This reflex is pretty much what it looks like: preparation and training for the all-important ability of humans to walk upright.

“The best thing for parents to do when it comes to their infant’s Saving money on a New York City primitive reflexes is to know what they are,” Dr. Levine notes. “That family day is easy! way, they’re not alarmed when they see them, and they’re able to

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tell the pediatrician if any of them are asymmetrical.” For example, your baby only grasps with her right hand and not the left, or, when startled, flails her left arm but not her right. “Such asymmetries could indicate a nerve or musculoskeletal injury from the birth process and need further evaluation,” Dr. Levine says. But remember, the reflexes themselves are not harmful to your baby in any way. Dr. Segal agrees: “There is nothing parents need to do to ‘train’ their baby out of a reflex. They will go away on their own over time.”

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LongIslandParent 37

LOOKING FOR

Saving money on a


raising kids teen

Your teens still need some guidance when it comes to healthy habits, such as eating a balanced meal, so try cooking together once or twice a week and enjoying a meal as a family.

Don’t Let Go—Just Yet

››

Even though your teen is gaining more independence, you still need to do these four things. By Laura D’Angelo

I

“ ’m not a little kid anymore!” Those six heart-wrenching words are often what adolescents tell their parents, who may still view their teens as the babies they once were. It can be hard to let go, whether you are handing over the car keys, packing your “child” up for college, or accepting that your 13-year-old wants to start wearing makeup to school. No parent is fully prepared to come to terms with their teenager outgrowing certain childhood habits. However, society sometimes misconstrues what the actual meaning of adolescence is: an extension of childhood. Even though your teenager is beginning to gain independence, that doesn’t mean he is going to become a full-fledged, independent adult overnight. Here are four ways your teen still needs you, according to experts in adolescent psychology.

Set Rules and Boundaries

You’ve likely set guidelines throughout your teen’s life, relating to your family values and morals—and those of society and culture at large. But internalizing and acting according to those rules is a lot for her to take on by herself right now, according to Erin Jant, Ph.D., developmental psychology professor at 38

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

Binghamton University. “They’ve had all these routines and rules throughout their life, but they might still need reminders on some things,” Dr. Jant says. This is especially true when it comes to the pressure your teen may feel from her peers or what she sees on social media, according to Alyson Cohen, LCSW, who works with adolescents and young adults at her private practice in midtown Manhattan. Your teen doesn’t need to be micromanaged in every aspect of her life, but gentle reminders here and there—especially when it comes to what’s okay to share and how to act on social media—will go a long way to ensuring your teen stays safe online, Cohen points out.

Remind About Dietary and Hygiene Habits

While your teenager may not need to rely on you entirely for meals and reminders about cleanliness anymore, it’s possible he still might need some help adjusting to becoming independently accountable for the many responsibilities that come with growing up. Check in on your teenager to make sure he’s practicing healthy food habits to balance the junk food he eats when you’re not


around. In many situations she deals with, Cohen finds it helpful when parents are involved in preparing their teenager’s food. Try cooking together once or twice a week, or give him more freedom to choose and prepare a meal for the family. When it comes to hygiene, it’s especially important to help young teens along with some gentle reminders—after all, needing deodorant and getting acne is new for them. Cohen suggests asking questions like: “Are you brushing and flossing your teeth at night?”; “Are you actually using body wash and shampoo when you take a shower?”; “When was the last time your sheets were changed?”; and “Are you making sure your favorite jeans are getting washed?” The important thing is not to come down on him for doing something wrong, but rather to reinforce his positive behaviors and habits through encouragement.

Allow for Natural Consequences

One of the most influential factors in whether a teenager becomes a self-reliant, confident adult is whether she has been allowed to face (and learn from) the consequences of her actions, Dr. Jant stresses. If you fix every single issue for him, he won’t ever get the sense of autonomy he needs to thrive in the real world. After all, if you keep bringing your teen her lunch at school because she always forgets to pack it, will she ever learn to remember? “[It’s important] that their parents are giving them rules, sending them off, and hoping that they’re learning from their own failures, while always providing support when necessary,” Dr. Jant says. “Natural consequences are very useful and impactful for teens especially.” So, consider letting your teens experience safe and natural consequences. For example, instead of emailing her English teacher asking if she can do extra credit to boost her grade, let her take the lower grade. It’s the only way she’ll realize writing her essays on the bus the morning they are due isn’t a great idea.

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Show Emotional and Physical Affection

Even if your teenager tells you he can’t stand your smothering hugs, appropriate physical affection from a parent or guardian is something he’ll never outgrow, Cohen says. “There has been so much research in the last 25 years that there is no amount of love that you can give your child that’s too much,” Cohen says. “And when I say love, I don’t mean being overbearing, in their face trying to do everything for them, but [saying], ‘I love you. I care so much about you. I’m so happy you’re in my life.’” It is especially important to remember your teenager has not outgrown physical affection, according to Dr. Jant. Why? “The risk for depression in adolescence jumps up exponentially compared to middle childhood,” she says. So, it’s crucial that parents pay attention to behavior shifts in their children, and not take on a permissive parenting style just because they want to be liked, Dr. Jant says. “There are so many parents who feel that tension…so then they pull back. They just allow [their teen] to do whatever, and then that can lead to negative consequences for that child.” Even though it can be difficult, it’s important to remember to remain calm when your teenager is acting up or shutting you out. Even if she’s behaving like she wants nothing to do with you, what she really needs more than ever is your love, support, and affection.

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Laura D’Angelo, a former NYMetroParents editorial intern, is a junior at Binghamton University.

LongIslandParent 39


PartyCentral PARTY ENTERTAINMENT CLOWNS.COM

Proudly Serving Westchester, Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx 516-577-0000, 718-971-5862 clowns.com We are a family-owned and -operated entertainment company, offering a wide range of party and entertainment services including clowns, inflatable bounce houses, characters, magicians, princesses, magic shows, face painting, and party concession rentals.

DYNAMIC BEAT PRODUCTIONS

Long Island, New York, and the Tristate area 631-399-6942 dynamicbeat.com dynamicbeat@optonline.net Your special event needs just the right mix of creativity, energy, and professionalism to get the celebration started. Dynamic Beat Entertainment has been making events memorable for 20 years. Our services include DJ, lighting, photo booths, lounge decor, and video production.

ERIK’S REPTILE EDVENTURE

P.O. Box 612, Middle Island 631-335-9308 edventureshow.com edventures1@yahoo.com Have a World of Reptiles Party featuring 12 animals from all around the world! Wildlife education and fun with live reptiles and museum animals. We are ready to make your party an unforgettable event!

KIDS PARTY WITH RUBY

646-683-1881 kidspartywithruby.com ruby@kidspartywithruby.com Kids Party with Ruby offers party planning assistance, kids party entertainment packages, bounce houses, balloon decorations, and party favors! We bring everything to your party to ensure all the kids have a fun and unforgettable experience.

PARTY PLACES AS YOU WISH PARTIES

418A Bedford Ave., Bellmore 516-590-7878 asyouwishparties.org As You Wish Parties will make your child’s party dreams come true. Themes include Pretty Princess, Knightly Knights, Traditional Tea, PJ Party, Rock Star and Superheroes, Dessert Party, or Kids Canvas Painting.

BACH TO ROCK MUSIC SCHOOL

1015 Port Washington Blvd., Port Washington 516-441-5526 portwashington.bachtorock.com portwashington@bachtorock.com Be a star at B2R! At Bach To Rock music school, our parties will have everyone recording in a state-of-the-art studio with pro engineers. Choose from current pop and classic rock tunes, then sing on the main stage and enjoy pizza and cake!

BE THE BEST SPORT

30 Beechwood Ave., Port Washington 516-453-0990 bethebestsport.org

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Your local guide to entertainers, party places, activities, and other resources.

info@bethebestsport.org Be The Best Sport provides sport birthday parties for children with special needs. Our qualified staff will make sure your son or daughter has a once in a lifetime experience! Please contact us to inquire about a birthday party!

BOUNCEU FARMINGDALE

101 Carolyn Blvd., Farmingdale 631-777-JUMP (5867) bounceu.com/cities/farmingdale.ny farmingdale.ny@bounceu.com BounceU Farmingdale was voted “Best of Long Island” for Children’s Party Place and Family Amusement Center. We provide the ideal combination of inflatable structures, a clean environment, incredible customer service, and nonstop excitement in a private party atmosphere.

CELEBRATIONS IN THE KITCHEN

63 E. Old Country Road, Hicksville 516-396-2193 celebrationsinthekitchen.com celebrationsinthekitchen@gmail.com The most unique, fun-filled, joyous event! We have created a true baking experience for everyone to enjoy, including sugar cookie baking, all about pizza, cupcakes from scratch, doughnuts, chocolate and candy projects. Come in, call, or visit celebrationsinthekitchen.com for more information on parties.

COLD SPRING HARBOR FISH HATCHERY & AQUARIUM

1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor 516-692-6768 cshfha.org steved@cshfha.org Celebrate your child’s next birthday at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium! See the Hatchery & Aquarium’s exciting live exhibits. Feed the hungry trout and learn about fish, reptiles, and amphibians with an up-close animal encounter.

GOLD MEDAL GYMNASTICS CENTERS

Nassau: 1100 Stewart Ave, Garden City 516-357-3636 gardencity@gmgc.com 210 Gardiners Ave., Levittown 516-735-4653 levittown@gmgc.com gmgc.com Long Island’s leading gymnastics center, “Where Every Child is a Champion” since 1973. Island-wide with six locations and fully certified instructors. We offer action-packed birthday parties!

GRADY EDU

1399 Jerusalem Ave., N. Merrick 516-401-4100 gradyedu.com parties@gradyedu.com Grady edu offers educational birthday parties with custom culinary workshops, a fashion design pajama party, or girl day jewelry making pamper day.

GRAVITY VAULT MELVILLE INDOOR ROCK GYM

40 Melville Park Road, Melville 516-777-9255 gravityvault.com/locations/melville-ny melville@gravityvault.com Climbing is a great way to celebrate your birthday! Our awesome climbing parties give kids an exciting day they will never forget! Offering different party package options to accommodate your needs.

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

INTREPID SEA, AIR & SPACE MUSEUM

Pier 86, W. 46th Street and Twelfth Avenue, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan 646-381-5010 intrepidmuseum.org groupsales@intrepidmuseum.org Celebrate your child’s birthday with a one-of-a-kind party! The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will captivate groups of all ages and interests. Choose from exciting themes, value packages, and customization options to create a birthday adventure they’ll remember forever!

KEY TO MY ART, INC.

10 W. Oak St., Amityville 131 Main St., East Rockaway 877-539-2278 keytomyart.com At Key to My Art, our children’s paint parties include all supplies from aprons to easels. The guest of honor picks the theme, we provide the instruction, and each guest leaves with a finished painting!

KIDDIE PLAYLAND

310 Hillside Ave., Williston Park 516-294-0111 kiddieplayland.com Celebrate your child’s special day at our eco-friendly indoor play space and enjoy watching your child have lots of fun. Three packages available with free invitations, pizza and drinks, play time, games, and dancing!

THE LANYARD LADIES

433 Merrick Road, Oceanside 516-578-2248 thelanyardladies.com info@thelanyardladies.com The Lanyard Ladies friendship bracelet and lanyard birthday parties bring the party to you, or you can come to their brand-new party place! Many amazing themes and packages to choose from.

THE LITTLE LADIES CLUB

246 W. Old Country Road, Hicksville 516-939-CLUB (2582) thelittleladiesclub.com party@thelittleladiesclub.com The Little Ladies Club has been providing glamorous makeover parties for girls since 1998! Her Majesty will be sure to receive the royal treatment!

LONG ISLAND AQUARIUM

431 E. Main St., Riverhead 631-208-9200 xH20 (426), 631-208-9200 x125 longislandaquarium.com Have your child’s birthday party at the Long Island Aquarium. Party options include a choice of private rooms, select food items, and an ice cream cake. All parties get a guided tour, special seating at the Sea Lion Show, and rides on the submarine simulator!

LONG ISLAND NETS

NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale longisland.gleague.nba.com Long Island Nets birthday party packages are a great way to celebrate your next birthday. Receive exclusive gear and birthday shout outs.

M.A.T.S.S. KID’S GYM & EARLY CHILDCARE EDUCATION CENTER A Rainbow Of Programs Under One Roof! 2629 Grand Ave., Bellmore


516-221-1330 171 Eileen Way, Syosset 516-496-7765 matsskidsgym.com corporate@matsskidsgym.com M.A.T.S.S. Kids’ Gym offers a rainbow of themes and activities that will make your child’s next birthday party the ultimate celebration of their special day!

MAIN ST. BOARD GAME CAFE UNPLUG YOUR GAME

307 Main St., Huntington 631-729-0060 mainstboardgamecafe.com/reservation info@mainstboardgamecafe.com Unplug your game! Main St. Board Game Cafe hosts parties for kids, tweens, and teens. Supervised by our staff of board game experts, our parties are a fun yet enriching experience for your next birthday or event.

MONSTER MINI GOLF

410-C Commack Road, Deer Park 631-940-8900 monsterminigolf.com/locations/deer-park All birthday packages include 90 minutes in a haunted mansion-themed private party room and a dedicated party host. Guests will play a round of golf under black lights with monster-themed decor featuring fun-loving, animated monsters.

MY GYM CHILDREN’S FITNESS CENTER

1320 Stony Brook Road, Stony Brook 631-751-KIDS (5437) mygym.com/stonybrook 128 W Jericho Turnpike, Huntington Station 631-427-GYMS (4967) mygym.com/huntingtonstation Great South Bay Shopping Center 985 W. Montauk Highway, West Babylon 631-314-GYMS (4967) mygym.com/babylon At My Gym the goal is to make your party an amazing, customized celebration. You will have exclusive use of the entire gym with a rock wall, trampoline, trapeze, climbing structures, and slides.

NORTHWELL HEALTH ICE CENTER

200 Merrick Ave., East Meadow 516-441-0070 northwellhealthicecenter.com Host your child’s birthday at Northwell Health Ice Center and have the coolest party in town. Our party planner will work with you to help plan a party experience that includes ice skating, skate rentals, pizza, and drinks.

NOT JUST ART

183 South St., Oyster Bay 516-922-8300 notjustart.com; create@notjust art.com Not Just Art has oodles of excellent music, art, and science parties for ages 1-12 and beyond. Choose from our treasury of super imaginative projects or use favorite themes and activities as a creative springboard.

SAF-T-SWIM SCHOOL

Nassau: 2050 Bellmore Ave., Bellmore 516-557-2114 625 Merrick Ave., East Meadow

516-538-6900 Located inside New York Sports Club 210 Gardiners Ave., Levittown 516-597-5193 1 Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park 516-519-8787 3194 Lawson Blvd., Oceanside 516-442-2825 570 Main St., Westbury 516-876-0848 saf-t-swim.com Saf-T-Swim pool parties are never rained out! Our year-round parties include 24 guests, a private party room, pool time, lifeguard, invitations, and pizza.

SOCIAL PLAY HAUS

200 Express St., Plainview 516-200-6444 socialplayhaus.com info@socialplayhaus.com Social Play Haus is the newest and hippest cafe and event space created for modern families on Long Island. We specialize in first birthday celebrations, birthdays, showers, baptisms, reveals, fundraisers, and corporate events.

Meet the

Health Care Professional Advantage Care Health Center 189 Wheatley Road, Brookville 516-686-4400 230 Hanse Ave., Freeport advantagecaredtc.org

Dr. Mulqueen is board-certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics and is available to see patients of all ages. She has a particular interest in caring for children and adults with Down syndrome, autism, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. She holds professional memberships with the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, and American Academy of Pediatrics. She is a member of the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group (DSMIG) and participates in the Annual Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group Symposium every summer.

SUGAR FACTORY

Sugar Factory - Meatpacking District 835 Washington St. Sugar Factory - The Row 700 8th Ave. Sugar Factory - Upper West Side 1991 Broadway 212-414-8700 sugarfactory.com sfny@sugarfactory.com Party where the stars play! Here at The Sugar Factory, we offer pre-fixed and customizable party packages for any celebration and budget! From private largescale events to private dinners for two, a Sugar Factory celebration is one you will never forget!

THOMAS SCHOOL OF HORSEMANSHIP RIDING ACADEMY

250 Round Swamp Road, Melville 631-692-6840 tshcamp.com; tsh@tshcamp.com Birthday parties, scout parties, and class trips are always a blast at the Thomas School of Horsemanship. For groups of 14-18 children. They receive one hour of riding time.

UNLIMITED SPORTS ACTION

30 Beechwood Ave., Port Washington 516-767-7675 unlimitedsportsaction.com info@unlimitedsportsaction.com Unlimited Sports Action offers sports birthdays for ages 2 and older. Our parties offer one hour of sports and activities on a climate-controlled turf field, followed by 30 minutes of food, drinks, and birthday cake in a private room.

WOWMOMS WORLD LONG ISLAND

328 E. Jericho Turnpike, Mineola 516-741-6667 wowmomsworld.com We do children’s birthday parties differently-ours are health-oriented, educational, and fun! Kids’ meals and cake are included, choose from activity options like princess and superhero visits, face painting, and obstacle courses!

The Tooth Pillow Dentistry 775 Park Ave, Suite 340, Huntington 516-317-2476 toothpillowny.com

The Tooth Pillow Dentistry is a group of board-certified pediatric dentists and dentist anesthesiologists who work together to safely provide dental treatment while your child “sleeps.” We provide this service for children who cannot be treated in the typical dental chair setting due to age, behavior, or other factors that hinder treatment. Your child will leave our office with all of their dental work completed, free from pain and bad memories. We will treat your child as if they were our own. Trust your child with the experts in pediatric dental sedation.

Ehrenman & Khan Pediatric Dentistry 959 Brush Hollow Road, Suite 101, Westbury 516-333-3033 pediatricdentistlongislandny.com kidsteethli@gmail.com

Ehrenman & Khan Pediatric Dentistry cares for all of your child’s oral health needs in a fun, kid-friendly environment that includes iPads and chairside TV monitors. Drs. Ehrenman and Khan are dedicated and trained to ease dental anxieties for young children as well as patients with special needs. Their years of advanced training include hospital and sedation dentistry. Please visit kidsteeth4li.com to learn more about what Ehrenman & Khan Pediatric Dentistry has to offer!

Long Island Center for Speech and Myofunctional Therapy Locations across Suffolk and Nassau: East Yaphank, Farmingville, Stony Brook, Commack, Jericho, Wantagh, and Lake Success lispeechandmyo.com Suffolk: 631-689-6858 Nassau: 516-216-1791 Queens: 718-640-6767 Janine Stiene, speech-language pathologist, owns and operates Long Island Center for Speech and Myofunctional Therapy. With her group of therapists, she supports families and children across Long Island, specializing in PROMPT, feeding, myofunctional therapy, voice disorders, fluency, augmentative communication, articulation, auditory processing disorders, expressive and receptive language disorders (adults and children). Intensive feeding therapy for individuals who suffer from texture and consistency aversions, and Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) are also offered. Seven affiliated offices across Long Island participate with most health insurance and offer evening and Saturday hours.

LongIslandParent 41


Professional services

Your local guide to tutors, teachers, lawyers, financial planners, and other professionals DENTISTS & DENTAL PROVIDERS

EHRENMAN & KHAN PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY

959 Brush Hollow Road, Suite 101, Westbury 516-333-3033 pediatricdentistlongislandny.com kidsteethli@gmail.com Ehrenman & Khan Pediatric Dentistry cares for all of your child’s oral health needs in a fun, kid-friendly environment that includes iPads and chairside TV monitors.

PDM FAMILY DENTAL

295 N. Broadway, Jericho 516-388-5002 pdmfamilydental.com info@pdmfamilydental.com PDM Family Dental is a new dental office at the Hicksville Jericho border. We are here to provide comprehensive care for your entire family’s dental needs. We are open evenings.

THE TOOTH PILLOW DENTISTRY

775 Park Ave, Suite 340, Huntington 516-317-2476 toothpillowny.com Your child will leave our office with all of their dental work completed, free from pain and bad memories. Trust your child with the experts in pediatric dental sedation.

DOCTORS & MEDICAL PROVIDERS

ADVANTAGE CARE HEALTH CENTER

189 Wheatley Road, Brookville 230 Hanse Ave., Freeport 516-686-4400 advantagecaredtc.org Advantage Care Health Centers and The Fay J. Lindner Center are Long Island’s premier Federally Qualified Health Care Centers (FQHC). We provide comprehensive medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health services to children and adults.

LONG ISLAND CENTER FOR SPEECH AND MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY

Locations across Suffolk and Nassau: East Yaphank, Farmingville, Stony Brook, Commack, Jericho, Wantagh, and Lake Success lispeechandmyo.com Nassau: 516-216-1791 Suffolk: 631-689-6858 Queens: 718-640-6767 Janine Stiene, speech-language pathologist, along with her group of therapists, supports families and children across Long Island, specializing in PROMPT,

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feeding, myofunctional therapy, voice disorders, fluency, augmentative communication, articulation, auditory processing disorders, and expressive and receptive language disorders.

FINANCIAL PLANNING & INSURANCE

BANKERS LIFE - KIMBERLY WILLIAMS-REGNIER

Serving NYC Metro Area, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and Westchester 347-0247-7293 bankerslife.com kimberly-williams.regnier@bankerslife.com Our goal is simple, to offer solutions that meet your needs today and for the life of your retirement. Our agents begin by asking you a few questions. Knowing what’s most important to you, we can provide solutions.

LEGAL SERVICES

ANDREW COHEN, ESQ., LAW OFFICES OF ANDREW M. COHEN

250 West 57th St., Suite 1216, Manhattan 212-244-0595 1100 Franklin Ave., Suite 305, Garden City 516-877-0595 amcohenlaw.com; ac@amcohenlaw.com The Law Offices of Andrew M. Cohen provide personalized, high quality special needs estate planning and special education legal services at a reasonable cost. It also conducts free workshops on several topics for agencies, schools, and parent groups.

FERSCH LLC

11 Broadway, Suite 550 Serving all of NYC and surrounding areas 212-422-2660 pffamilylaw.com; familylaw@pffamilylaw.com Fersch LLC practices exclusively in matrimonial and family law. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and determined advocates for our clients. We provide care and attention to clients and their families of all income levels.

LAW OFFICES OF BRAD H. ROSKEN, PLLC

534 Broadhollow Road, Suite 275, Melville 631-379-9569 specialedcounselor.com brad@specialedcounselor.com Brad H. Rosken is an experienced trial attorney. He is also a parent of a child with special needs. He knows how far to push a school district to obtain the maximum that your child is entitled to under law.

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

VISHNICK MCGOVERN MILIZIO LLP

3000 Marcus Ave., Suite 1E9, Lake Success 516-437-4385 570 Lexington Ave., Suite 1600, Manhattan 212-759-3500 255 Monmouth Road, 2nd floor, Oakhurst, NJ 732-531-8900 vmmlegal.com For 50 years, the law firm of Vishnick McGovern Milizio has helped private and business clients ensure their well-being, plan for their future, and protect their interests.

LICE

FAIRY LICEMOTHERS

2463 South Long Beach Road, Oceanside 866-561-0492 1755 Deer Park Ave., Deer Park 866-561-0492 679 Glen Cove Ave., Glen Head 866-561-0492 fairylicemothers.com fairylicemothers@gmail.com Our treatment centers are kid-friendly and our products are 100 percent non-toxic. Treatments include two free re-checks. Whether or not you use our service, we are here to help you.

LICE CLINICS OF AMERICA - LONG ISLAND

47 Jackson Ave., Syosset 566 Merrick Road, Rockville Centre 516-336-4099 liceclinicslongisland.com Lice Clinics of America will remove lice in just one hour! All lice and eggs—even Super Lice—are eliminated in a single, onehour treatment. Affordable treatments, no toxic chemicals.

SPECIAL NEEDS

ANDREW COHEN, ESQ.

Law Offices of Andrew M. Cohen 250 West 57th St., Suite 1216, Manhattan 212-244-0595 1100 Franklin Ave., Suite 305, Garden City 516-877-0595 amcohenlaw.com ac@amcohenlaw.com The Law Offices of Andrew M. Cohen provide personalized, high quality special needs estate planning and special education legal services at a reasonable cost. It also conducts free workshops on several topics for agencies, schools, and parent groups.


LAW OFFICES OF BRAD H. ROSKEN, PLLC

534 Broadhollow Road, Suite 275, Melville 631-379-9569 specialedcounselor.com brad@specialedcounselor.com Brad H. Rosken is an experienced trial attorney. He is also a parent of a child with special needs. He knows how far to push a school district to obtain the maximum that your child is entitled to under law.

LIFE’S WORC THE FAMILY CENTER FOR AUTISM 1501 Franklin Ave., Garden City 516-741-9000 familycenterforautism.org The Family Center for Autism provides services and support for people with autism and their families. Programs include: insurance services, birthday parties, art, music, sports and culinary classes, camps, parent and sibling programs, social events, vocational programs, and behavior intervention.

LONG ISLAND CENTER FOR SPEECH AND MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY

Locations across Suffolk and Nassau: East Yaphank, Farmingville, Stony Brook, Commack, Jericho, Wantagh, and Lake Success lispeechandmyo.com Nassau: 516-216-1791 Suffolk: 631-6896858 Queens: 718-640-6767 Janine Stiene, speech-language pathologist, along with her group of Saving money on a New therapists, supports families and children family day easy! in across Long Island,isspecializing PROMPT, feeding, myofunctional therapy, voice disorders, fluency, augmentative communication, articulation, auditory processing disorders, and expressive and receptive language disorders.

LOOKING FOR

THERAPY & COUNSELORS

FAMILY FIRST

100 E. Old Country Road, Suite 14, Mineola 516-804-1010 hello@familyfirstli.org Family First is a sliding-scale psychotherapy practice offering professional services for children age 6 and older, teens, and their families. Effectively addressing the mental health concerns students are facing is vital for their overall growth, development, and well-being.

TUTORS & TEST PREP

ADVANCED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS OF ROSLYN

20 Roosevelt Ave., Roslyn 516-484-1789 roslynacademics.com info@roslynacademicprograms.com Roslyn Academic Programs offers enrichment programs for school age children in mathematics, physics, chemistry, robotics, programming and engineering, languages, music, and art. We also offer standardized test (ACT, SAT, etc.) and subject test preparation for high school students.

EYE LEVEL

Eye Level Williston Park 61 Hillside Ave., Williston Park 516-747-7700 York City eyelevelny.com Eye Level offers math and English programs for ages 3-14. Whether the immediate goal is for early learning, remedial education, or academic advancement, Eye Level is the answer.

GREAT DEALS?

MGABA

1737 Veterans Memorial Highway, Suite 1, Islandia 2341 New Hyde Park Road, New Hyde Park 631-479-2900 mg-aba.com Marra & Glick Applied Behavior Analysts (MGABA) specialize in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to serve people with autism spectrum disorders in our centerbased programs, at school, in the home, Cityguideny.com and community. has coupons and

LONG ISLAND STEM PREP LLC

Serving Nassau and Suffolk Counties 347-645-4980 listemprep.wixsite.com/listemprep listemprep@gmail.com We provide personalized sessions to improve science, math, and test prep outcomes for grade school into college. With more than a decade of experience authoring books, courses, and questions for standardized exams, our expertise helps students perform at their maximum potential.

discounts for NYC sightseeing attractions, THE TOOTH stores PILLOWand DENTISTRY LONG ISLAND TUTORIAL SERVICES restaurants, more. 775 Park Ave, Suite 340, Huntington

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provides award-winning customer service and first-rate instruction to families, islandwide. Call for a confidential consultation.

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LongIslandParent 43


family life

finance

Use It or Lose It

››

Surprise: Your Flexible Spending Account probably covers more expenses than you think.

T

he year is almost over. Do you still have a balance in your Flexible Spending Account? The funds can be used tax-free for eligible medical expenses—but only if you spend them within a certain timeframe. The deadline is often Dec. 31; check your plan. After the cutoff date, the money disappears faster than a Lego in a shag rug. Most parents still have between $50 and $200 of FSA money to spend (or lose) before year’s end, according to the FSA Store (fsastore.com), an online shop that sells only FSA-eligible items. But don’t panic: You don’t have to schedule a New Year’s Eve dental cleaning to bring that balance to zero. We spoke with Kim Buckey, vice president of client services at DirectPath, an employee engagement, health care transparency, and compliance firm for Fortune 1000 employers, to get some smart suggestions of FSA-eligible items. Of course, plans can vary, so ask yours. But by and large, the stuff on this list generally gets the green light: • Eyeglasses: Now’s the time to splurge on cool frames or pick up an extra pair for your child who always loses his. • Bandages: The next time your child gets a boo-boo, make

• • • • • • • •

her feel better with a kiss and the words “Mommy saved the equivalent of our tax bracket on this bandage.” Or maybe just skip that second part. Travel for medical care: Did you regularly trek to the nearest city so a family member could see a certain physician? The mileage is reimbursable; ask your plan for the going rate. Contact lenses and related supplies: Saline solution, rinses, and even lens holders all count. Pregnancy and ovulation test kits: Ready to expand your family in the new year? Stock up. Diabetes test kits and materials Orthodontia—even partial payments can be deducted. Batteries for medical equipment such as hearing aids and nebulizers Orthopedic inserts for shoes, even non-prescription ones Heating pads Lead paint removal: This is only allowable if your child has or has had lead poisoning. The repainting is not covered.

For more suggestions, visit fsastore.com and browse around. As always, check with your plan’s specific guidelines for eligible purchases.

Deborah Skolnik lives in Westchester with her husband and two daughters, and enjoys writing, cooking, and gardening.

44

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

By Deborah Skolnik


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LongIslandParent 45


Shana Liebman

raising kids voices

Trip of a Lifetime ›› Despite every precaution, our family vacation turned tragic. By Shana Liebman

I

insisted on the vaccinations. Typhoid, hepatitis A, MMR, polio. I even drove the kids upstate to a clinic because the yellow fever vaccine was in short supply. Their arms hurt for days. For malaria we had to take pills, which for a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old is virtually impossible. I sprayed our clothes with Deet and packed the extra anti-malaria pills along with six bottles of Off and a scarf that was supposed to repel mosquitoes. My husband thought I was crazy. “Bobby says it’s not necessary,” he said. Bobby is our friend who lives in Kenya. We were on our way to visit him for what was going to be—to use a cliched phrase that we found ourselves reluctantly repeating—the trip of a lifetime. “Why take a risk?” I argued. “Whatever you want,” my husband said. Finally, we were ready for what I thought was going to be the hardest part of our journey: a 17-hour plane ride. Instead, we breezed through the epic flight. “See?” My husband said. “It’s easy.” Bobby was there to greet us and drove us through the packed, dusty Nairobi streets to his home behind a guarded gate. That afternoon, the kids held mini bananas while monkeys jumped on their backs. We fed giraffes and drank wine beneath avocado trees. After three days, we flew to the Mara—the bush—where we watched a lioness kill a gazelle then offer the carcass to her cubs. We saw wildebeests, led by zebras, cross a river filled with crocodiles. Our kids gaped in awe from the back of the jeep and slept beneath mosquito nets back at camp. Then we hopped another plane to Watamu, a small town on the Indian Ocean where we found ourselves in a beachfront five-bedroom with a personal chef. I read an entire novel while the kids frolicked in the pool. I am happy, I emailed a friend. After snorkeling, we decided to check out the Crab Shack on the mangrove where we could watch a stunning sunset. It was 5pm, daylight just starting to fade. “Boys get your shoes,” I said. A few seconds later we heard a shatter like a planter had been knocked over and then I saw what had actually happened, a vision that still haunts me every time I close my eyes.

46

December 2019 | nymetroparents.com

Nate and Mack, the author’s sons, in the Mara with a Masai guide

Mack, my 7-year-old, who was running to get his shoes, had smashed right through the sliding glass door. Glass was everywhere and Mack was screaming. And then there was blood. So much of it. I thought of the gazelle in the Mara. I thought of the book I read where a boy walks through glass and dies. And I thought, is this it? I immediately started reassuring everyone, but for the first time as a parent, I thought: It’s not going to be okay. This is when the good times end. And then: What if? What if he had not left his shoes outside? What if we had decided to stay in that evening? My hands shook as I wrapped Mack’s wounds. The ambulance arrived. A doctor tried to give Mack an IV, but his veins had collapsed. We drove 2 hours through black night under pouring rain on dirt roads to a hospital where a young African girl was wheezing. Was this really happening? There were waves of nausea and blurry floors. Finally, the doctor said, “He’s going to be okay.” “He is?” I asked, still unsure. We spent the rest of our vacation in African hospitals, getting Mack sewn back together. The pain was so bad at times that he needed IVs and shots and nerve-blockers. He screamed and cried and vomited from the medicine. But after a week, we learned there would be no permanent damage, minus a few brutal scars. When we got home, there were notes and flowers from our friends. Exhausted, I unpacked our dusty clothes and saw the bottle of anti-malaria pills. I thought of all the shots I had made the boys get, the forms I carried with us in a sturdy plastic folder— proof of our exceptional health and fortitude. That was us before, I thought, before we knew what it felt like to see our tiny, precious child hurt so badly that time stops. I threw the pill bottle in the trash. We had shielded ourselves against deadly, crippling diseases, and yet life had thrown us a curveball that no vaccine could have blocked. Are we better for it? Who knows? But two months later, as I write this, Mack is kicking a soccer ball against the house, shaking the walls—something I’ve told him many times not to do. And I am grateful, so grateful for it.


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Register by January 4, 2020 to receive a $25 discount!

W.A.R.M. this winter! Hofstra University Continuing Education’s Saturday Classes for Young People offers the W.A.R.M. (Writing, Academics, Reading, and More) program for children in pre-school through high school. Classes run every Saturday, January 11 – February 15, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. – 12 :30 p.m. During this six-week winter session, students can take a block of three one-hour courses in academics, enrichment, arts, or science. For more information, or to register for the W.A.R.M. Winter Session, please call (516) 463-7400 or visit ce.hofstra.edu/youth.

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Nassau Parent December 2019