Parent NYMETROPARENTS.COM DECEMBER 2018
Happy Holidays! • Sticking
to Your Gift-Giving Budget • Elf on the Shelf: Yay or Nay? • Kid-Safe Decorating
World-Aware Teens Raise kids who’ll change the world
Family Travel Destinations The best all-inclusive, family-friendly resorts
HELPING PARENTS MAKE BETTER DECISIONS
SANTA’S ON HIS WAY.
Visit Santa’s Cottage
Monday – Saturday • 10am – 9pm, Sunday • 10am – 7pm For reservations and details visit RidgeHill.com/Santa
1 RIDGE HILL BLVD | YONKERS
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Oasis Offers: • Programs for Ages 3-15 • 8:30am-5:30pm • Extended day available • Flexible Enrollment:
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contents table of
Original photo by ›› Big Apple Portraits (bigappleportraits.com) Clothing provided by Land’s End (landsend.com)
33 38 family travel
16 Become a Resort Family
Find something to help your family beat that winter chill
How to Save Money on Holiday Shopping
These tips will help you stick to your budget while snagging real bargains.
How to Raise a World-Aware Teen
Your child’s now old enough to grasp global issues—and to change the planet for the better, too.
things to do
6 Editor’s Note 8 New Places, New Programs 10 My Family Saved Someone’s Life 14 Keeping Your Family Healthy 36 The Pros and Cons of Elf on the Shelf 40 How to Raise a World-Aware Teen 42 Party Central 44 Professional Services 44 Academic Enrichment and Educational Services 44 Meet the Doctor 45 Party Planner 45 Advertisers Index 46 Parenting Humor
12 Glitter Gifts
34 13 Ways to Stay Safe This Holiday Season
18 Family Fun in Manhattan
38 How to Save Money on Holiday Shopping
21 Family Activities Calendar 33 Holiday Joys
Helping Parents Make Better Decisions ON THE COVER ›› 34 Kid-Safe Decorating 36 Elf on the Shelf: Yay or Nay? 38 Sticking to Your Gift-Giving Budget 40 World-Aware Teens facebook.com/nymetroparents
@NYMetroParents Visit NYMETROPARENTS.COM for family activities updated daily and more than 2,000 parenting articles!
ThornTon-Donovan School Individually Focused, Globally Engaged
OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9th – 2-4 pm
Thornton-Donovan will embark on a
Magical RealisM: Mongolia 2019 Co-Ed • Grades K–12 100 Overlook Circle, New Rochelle, NY 10804 | www.td.edu | 914-632-8836 WestchesterParent
DECEMBER 2018 • Vol.18 • No.4
raising kids editor’s note
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Katelin Walling ASSISTANT EDITORS: Anja Webb, Melissa Wickes DIRECTOR OF CONTENT: Deborah Skolnik
absolutely adore this time of year, don’t you? The days may be short, but they’re jampacked full of joyful doings. Whether you’re shopping for presents for loved ones, admiring the twinkling holiday lights, or cooking up special treats, there’s a cozy feel to it all. And the only thing more delightful than savoring the season’s many pleasures is experiencing them from your child’s wide-eyed perspective. Of course, in all the excitement we want to make sure you and your kids steer clear of hazards—that’s why we urge you to read Lambeth Hochwald’s feature “13 Ways to Stay Safe This Holiday Season” on p. 34. Don’t light a candle, buy a festive new plant, or set out special décor before reading what the experts have to say. Speaking of experts, we also have the pros’ best tips for getting discounts on all those gifts you’re buying. Turn to p. 38 for “How to Save Money on Holiday Shopping” by Denise Porretto, which offers brilliant strategies for bargain-hunting, both online and at brick-and-mortar stores. You’ll wonder how you ever did without these easy ways to earn cash back on purchases, snag hot products at low prices, and more. Meanwhile, what would Christmas be without a few traditions? This issue, we take a closer look at a somewhat controversial one: Elf on the Shelf. He’s meant to watch over your young kids and report back to Santa about whether they belong on the ‘nice’ or ‘naughty’ list, but does that make him sweet, or a spy? In Anja Webb’s “The Pros and Cons of Elf on the Shelf” on p. 36, real parents, plus others who grew up with the steely-eyed sprite, offer advice on how to deploy your elf so he’s fun for little ones. Yet the holiday season isn’t only for small children, which is why those of you with older kids will appreciate Allison Ingrum’s story, “Raise a World-Aware Teen” on p. 40. These days more than ever, it’s important for our youth to know what’s happening around the globe—and help change our planet for the better. After the holidays wrap—or even before—you may just have had your fill of blustery weather and busy days. Who could blame you if you just want to get away from it all for a while? Not us! That’s what makes our travel story “Become a Resort Family” on p. 16 so timely. We’ve rounded up our picks of family-friendly all-inclusive resorts and destinations, blessed spots where all you have to do is relax. Even if you can’t book a getaway this minute, it’s a great read for fantasizing. On that subject, here’s wishing you and yours the holiday of your dreams! Deborah Skolnik Director of Content
REGIONAL EDITORS: Samantha Beranbom (Rockland); Karen Demeter (Suffolk); Whitney C. Harris (Westchester); Karen Lo (Brooklyn, Manhattan); Dorette Saunders (Nassau); Gail Warren (Queens) DIRECTORIES EDITOR: Alice Van Dyke EDITORIAL INTERN: Megan Vasquez
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Tell Us How You Give Back! In this season of showing gratitude and giving, we want hear how you help those who are less fortunate. Does your family volunteer on a regular basis? Do your kids raise money for a charity? Does your business give back to the community? Share your story of giving back with us, and we’ll share it with our readers on NYMetroParents. com. We’ll help you to raise the visibility of your cause and let others know how they can get involved. Sharing your story couldn’t be easier: Simply fill out the form at nymetroparents.com/submitnews. We look forward to hearing from you!
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We brought the best pediatric specialists closer to you. The newly opened Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital Pediatric Specialty Center brings top specialists to one convenient Greenwich location. From allergies to cancer treatment, your child will be cared for by specialists from a children’s hospital that ranks among the best in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. In addition, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital physicians provide 24/7 emergency services and onsite care for children at Greenwich Hospital. Everything your child could need from our top ranked children’s hospital is now close by. ynhch.org
Courtesy Temple Israel Center
raising kids new places, new programs
Nursery School in White Plains Launches Three Programs
At Toddler & Me at Temple Israel Cente r, each child will participate in art and music, and learn about Jewish holiday traditions.
Who: Temple Israel Center What’s New: Toddler & Me, Bim Bam, and Babies & Bagels programs, which started Oct. 10. Drop-ins are welcome and fees, if any, will be pro-rated. Each program will offer a variety of activities for babies and toddlers to help develop their full potential in a fun and safe Jewish setting. Toddler & Me is an introduction to a typical Nursery School class and will run through Jan. 30, 2019. Bim Bam is a pre-Shabbat class for children ages 3 and younger, which runs through Feb. 1. Babies & Bagels is a free meet-up on Tuesdays and Thursdays for parents of newborns to connect with each other while listening to a speaker discuss topics such as sleep issues, nutrition, and separation. Want More Info: 280 Old Mamaroneck Road, White Plains; 914-948-2800; templeisraelcenter.org
Who: Creative Corner of Larchmont What’s New: Slime Time Birthday Parties, which are scheduled to begin Dec. 1. Kids will create two different types of slime. They can decorate their slime containers and add the extra ingredients to make their slime unique. On Dec. 20 from 5-8:30pm, Creative Corner will be participating in Larchmont’s Sip N’ Stroll Thursday. Creative Corner also will have a full weekend schedule starting in December. Parents can bring kids in for playgroup so kids can craft while you tackle your holiday to-do list. This crafting option is available all year long. Want More Info: 7 Addison St., Larchmont; 914-833-2880; creativecornerlarchmont.com
e Corner Larchm
Children’s Art Studio in Larchmont to Offer Slime Birthday Parties and Creative Holiday Gift Workshops
and ay parties, classes chmont offers birthd Creative Corner Lar lk-in hours. workshops, and wa
Who: Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital at Greenwich Hospital What’s New: Pediatric Specialty Center, which opened in November. The facility has a number of unique specialists including allergy/ immunology, cardiology, craniofacial surgery, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, and hepatology. The staff consists of registered nurses, social workers, psychologists, dietitians, and more than 20 different types of pediatric specialists. All the physicians are part of Yale Medicine. In addition to quality of care, the décor of the facility is childfriendly and entertaining. There’s an interactive screen that changes colors and produces different images when touched as well as educational games and interactive images. Want More Info: 500 W. Putnam Ave., Greenwich, CT.; 203-785-4081; greenwichhospital.org 8
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
Courtesy Yale New Hav en
Children’s Hospital Opens Pediatric Specialty Center
The Pediatric Special ty Center at Yale New Haven Children’s Hos at Greenwich Hospita pital l is designed to make children feel comfort and entertained. able
Now Open in Larchmont! AGES NEWBORN - THREE YEARS
Call us today, 914-632-6200 or visit
For infants, toddlers and preschoolers, every day brings new discoveries. Rooms are designed to be clam, peaceful, organized and beautiful with plenty of room to move around. In a mixed age group classroom, children are inspired by and learn from other children, while moving at their own pace. At The Nurtury, teachers create an individual lesson plan for each child. Parents are given a daily logbook of their child’s activities so they can feel a part of their child’s classroom experience. Maria Montessori believed it is our role to ‘free the child’s potential and transform him into the world.’ WestchesterParent
Courtesy Jenn Colucci
raising kids voices
My Family Saved Someone’s Life ›› The close call that was the ultimate teachable moment for my kids. By Jenn Colucci, as told to Deborah Skolnik
ave you ever had an ordinary day suddenly turn extraordinary? That’s what happened to us in late July. My husband Vinnie had come home early from work, and we’d gone to an afternoon movie at the Galleria Mall in Poughkeepsie with our four kids. As we left the theater around 4:30pm, I noticed a black BMW near our car in the parking lot. We got in our car and I pulled out of our parking spot. That’s when I saw the BMW’s driver: He was lying on his back across the center console, and his feet were sticking out the driver’s-side door. The car was running and the radio was blasting. “Something is wrong with this guy,” I said. Vinnie thought the man was just sleeping, but I urged him to check. Vinnie got out of the car and tapped the guy’s foot, saying “Hey buddy, hey bro.” There was no response. My husband looked at me. “Call nine-one-one,” he said. The emergency operator told us to pull the man out of the car and lay him on the ground. Vinnie got a couple of passersby to help him while I stayed on the phone with the operator. I pulled our car up so my kids couldn’t see what was happening, but I looked on. The driver—he was a young man—was taking breaths every 30 seconds, if that. He was pale, white, and sweaty, and his lips were blue-purple. The police showed up first. Immediately, they concluded the man was suffering from a drug overdose. They administered Narcan—a substance designed to counteract opioid overdose— through his nose, which did nothing. Paramedics arrived shortly thereafter and administered more Narcan through an IV. Immediately, miraculously, it brought the guy back to life. I heard him say he’d used two bags of heroin. He bounced back so much he wanted to go home, but of course
Jenn and Vinnie Colucci with their children
the paramedics insisted he go to the hospital for observation. As I sat there watching it all unfold, stunned, one of the police officers came up to me. “This man was dead,” he told me. “You literally just saved his life by calling nine-one-one.” The young man, now sitting up on a stretcher, looked at the police officer and said, “Thanks.” “Don’t thank me,” the officer replied. “You can thank these two over here. They’re the ones that called.” On the way home, my 8-year-old daughter asked me, “Mom, did that man have a heart attack?” I looked at my husband and said, “I’m just going to tell them.” “That man was dying because he did very bad drugs,” I explained. We talked about how dangerous illegal drugs are, and why you should never use them. My husband and I turned it into a teaching moment—not only about drugs, but also about how if you see someone in trouble, you should call for help and not just walk by, as I’m sure a lot of people might have done. The movie we’d seen was The Incredibles 2, and my son said, “Mommy, you and Daddy are just like Mr. and Mrs. Incredible!” It’s true I did feel inspired by what we’d done—but I was also sad for what we’d seen. I’m sure this experience will stay with my three older kids, who are 12, 8, and 6, for the rest of their lives. My 4-year-old probably won’t remember, but I’m hoping she’ll learn from her older siblings. I’m also hoping people start realizing how big the opioid addiction crisis is. Most of all, I’m hoping the young man we saved stays safe. What happens if he needs saving again—will anyone be there to rescue him the next time? Because the mother in me knows: He’s someone’s child.
Jenn Colucci is a mother of four and the content coordinator for the upcoming Living Lagrange magazine, as well as the receiver of taxes for the Town of Beekman.
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
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things to do
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See monthly event calendar on our website: andersonsbooksny.com Newborns to Nonagenarians Custom Gift Baskets
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Add a little sparkle to your holiday season with these crafty gift ideas, perfect for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just because! Create a cozy mug with some added ﬂair to enjoy a nice cup of hot cocoa, an abstract art canvas to unleash your inner Picasso, or a shining ornament to make your tree stand out. No matter what your occasion for gift giving, make it extra special with something handmade… and glittery! These crafts, excerpted from “Glitter!” by Adams Media, are sure to make your holiday season one to remember!
Ornament Give the gift of glitter this season with glitter ornaments! All you need is: Glass bulb ornaments
Piece of paper
Now... 1. Remove metal ornament caps and pour a tablespoon of ﬂoor finish into each bulb. 2. Use paper to funnel glitter into bulbs, then swirl the bulbs around to coat the inside of the ornament with the glitter mixture. 3. Pour out excess mixture and let bulbs dry for 10 minutes before replacing metal caps. Tie off each ornament with a sparkly bow and share the shimmer with friends and family this year.
Make a (dishwasher safe) glitter-dipped mug with easy-to-find items! You’ll need:
Dishwasher safe Mod Podge
Glass or porcelain mug
Now… 1. Tape off your mug and use paintbrush to apply Mod Podge below the tapeline. 2. Now go glitter-crazy! 3. Peel off tape and let dry for 4-8 hours. 4. Use paintbrush to dab a coat of Mod Podge over the glitter. Let sit for 28 days before washing. Excerpted from “Glitter!” by Adams Media. Copyright © 2018 Adams Media, a division of Simon and Schuster. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Interior design by Colleen Cunningham.
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
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raising kids in the know
yrs. of Fun, Frien ds, & Fitness !
Fo r K id s 9 mos to 12 yrs
Grea t Pe rk s Fo r M em be rs
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www.jodisgym.com 25 Hubbels Dr. Mt. Kisco • 914.244.8811 244 E. 84th St. NYC • 212.772.7633
very parent dreads cold and ﬂu season. Kids are still building their immune systems, so it’s normal for them to get sick frequently. “I have parents tell me that they can remember more days when their kid had a runny nose than days when they didn’t,” says Aimée Kahn, M.D., M.P.H., pediatrician at Crystal Run Healthcare in Nyack. This year, get ahead of the cold and ﬂu game by taking these precautions, as suggested by Dr. Kahn. Wash your hands. It’s one of the most important things anyone can do to prevent spreading infection. Teach your children to wash before eating, after playtime, and after using the bathroom, Dr. Kahn suggests. Properly washing your hands means wetting, cleaning with soap for 10-15 seconds, and rinsing completely.
Get your ﬂu vaccinations. It’s the best way to protect yourself and your children. A record 183 pediatric deaths were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the 2017-2018 season. Nearly 80 percent of those deaths occurred in kids who did not receive a ﬂu vaccine, according to the CDC. Many parents are concerned their child can contract the ﬂu from the vaccine, but it’s “not a live vaccine, so if you are feeling under the weather after receiving the vaccine, it is simply your body’s autoimmune response... In fact, it is nothing compared to the actual ﬂu,” Dr. Kahn says.
BECOME A BULLDOG
Maintain a healthy diet. Your child should get all the vitamins she needs—something that will happen as long as she’s eating a healthy, nutritious diet. Also, check that your county’s water supply has ﬂuoride in it. If not, you may want to make sure your child is getting the right amount, Dr. Kahn suggests.
A human being first, a student second! Soundview Preparatory School is an independent, coed day school for grades 6 – 12 located on a 13 acre campus in Yorktown Heights, New York. 370 Underhill Avenue Yorktown Heights, NY 10598 Y 914.962.2780 info@soundviewpr email@example.com www.soundviewpr www.soundviewprep.org @SoundviewPrep @SoundviewPrep @Soundview Preperatory School
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
Don’t let your child share things that go in his mouth. After spending the last few years teaching your child the importance of sharing, ﬂu season is the time to throw those lessons out the window. Well, at least for utensils, pacifiers, cups, and other items that go in your child’s mouth, Dr. Kahn stresses. If your child drops his pacifier, don’t be so quick to give it a swift wipe and pop it back in his mouth. Know when to take your child to the doctor. If he has a high fever that won’t come down with Tylenol or Motrin, you should see the doctor. Once your child is fever-free, wait 24 hours before letting her go back to school. Perhaps most importantly, if your child shows any signs of difficulty breathing, including fast breathing, nasal ﬂaring, and using extra muscles to breathe, you should take her to the doctor immediately, Dr. Kahn says.
Where every student is special for over 35 years!
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Courtesy Club Med
esorts xury R on Lu lt a y o esy R Court
Guests at Club Med in Punta Cana and Opio en Provence in France can learn Cirque de Soleil skills at CREACTIVE. Inset: Float down the Lazy River at Royalton Bavaro in the Dominican Republic.
Become a Resort Family
Traveling with the kids can get expensive, so we found the best all-inclusive resorts that are sure to keep everyone happy. By Katelin Walling
efore kids, traveling with your partner was relatively easy. Sure, you had to figure out the logistics of getting from point A to destination B, along with where to stay, what to do, and places to eat, but that wasn’t too much of a hassle. Ever since kids entered the picture, though, planning a destination vacation has become a balancing act, one that includes making sure there are plenty of activities the little ones will love, that the restaurants you dine at have food your picky eaters will like, and that the hotel room has enough sleeping space for your brood. Does the thought of coordinating everything make you want to hire a vacation planner? Fear not! For a family vacation everyone will love, consider booking a stay at an all-inclusive resort. While some locations are for adults only, many others are turning their focus to families, offering unlimited activities, kids’ clubs, and dining options that even hardto-please children will love. This list doesn’t include every single all-inclusive resort brand out there; the five chosen here offer unique experiences for families, clubs for kids and teens, and other amenities to ensure everyone in the family has an unforgettable vacation.
A sister brand to Sandals, the first Beaches resort opened in 1997 in response to requests from couples who loved Sandals Resorts and wanted a similar experience with their families. Destinations: Beaches has three family-friendly resorts: two are located in Jamaica and one is in Turks & Caicos. Highlights: Each location features a Pirates Island waterpark (Turks & Caicos recently expanded its waterpark offerings) with waterslides, spray areas, waterfalls, zero-entry pools, and more. Plus, Turks & Caicos is the only Beaches resort to offer SurfStream®, a surf simulator. Beaches has an exclusive partnership with Sesame 16
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
Street, so you’ll frequently spot your favorite characters roaming the grounds for kids to meet, interact with in special themed activities, and see in stage shows and character parades. Tweens and teens can take advantage of the arcade Trench Town and the Xbox Play Lounge. These resorts also offer teens-only dance time at Club Liquid before it transitions to the 21 and older night club. And for teens who want a more meaningful vacation, Beaches offer Island Impact volunteer opportunities in July and August. Kids Clubs: All Beaches resorts have Kids Camp for younger guests, ages newborn to 12, and programs that are just for tweens and teens. And your children will be in good hands: Kids Camp staff and private child care providers are members of the International Nanny Association. In addition, Beaches’ Kids Camps are Certified Autism Centers through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, so staff members are able to cater to children who are on the spectrum. To book: beaches.com
With more than 70 locations worldwide in a variety of destinations, you’ll find a resort in the spot of your dreams, whether you prefer tropical weather for beach lounging or snowier climates for all-day skiing. Destinations: In addition to its Sandpiper Bay resort in Florida, Club Med has locations in Mexico; the Caribbean; the Alps in France, Italy, and Switzerland; throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, including Greece, Portugal, and Turkey; across Asia, including Thailand, Maldives, China, Indonesia, Japan, and Malaysia; Brazil; and Africa, including Morocco, Tunisia, and Senegal. Highlights: Kids younger than 4 always stay free, though services for this age range sometimes cost extra. Some locations have a trapeze for high-ﬂying fun, and Punta Cana in the Dominican
Republic and Opio en Provence in France are home to CREACTIVE, a Cirque du Soleil-inspired playscape at which guests can learn acrobatic and artistic skills (including trapeze, high bungee, and trampoline). Cancun Yucatan recently underwent renovations and now offers an expanded Aguamarina, a family area featuring two-bedroom accommodations with a dedicated pool area and stretch of beach only for families staying in this part of the resort. Kids Clubs: Of the many locations worldwide, only a select few are adult-only resorts. Kids’ clubs are available at most locations for ages 4 months to 17 years, including Baby Club Med (ages 4-23 months), Petit Club Med (ages 2-3), Mini Club Med (ages 4-10), Juniors’ Club Med (ages 11-17), and Club Med Passworld (ages 11-17). In addition, Club Med offers Pyjama Club from 7-11pm and babysitting services (both an additional fee) for date nights or those times you wish to have an adults-only excursion. To book: clubmed.us
Dreams Resorts & Spas
If staying at an environmentally conscious resort is more your speed, Dreams Resorts & Spas has eight locations that are Rainforest Alliance-certified (they follow the alliance’s eight principles of sustainability). Destinations: Dreams has 15 destinations for families throughout Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, and Puerto Rico. Highlights: There’s so much to do at Dreams, the kids will never complain of boredom. Though activities vary at each location, indoor and outdoor offerings include pingpong, volleyball, soccer, archery, painting, ocean trampoline, a scalable iceberg, Pilates and yoga, pool tables, croquet, a giant chess board, tennis, dance lessons, movies, and Euro-Bungee. In addition, water sport activities include water polo, kayaking, snorkeling, catamarans, sailing, and windsurfing. Once a week kids can have a camping adventure on the beach, hosted by the Explorer’s Club at all locations, while parents can enjoy a date night. Kids Clubs: Dreams resorts offer Explorer’s Club for ages 3-12 and various activities just for teens. Properties in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Dreams Sands Cancun Resort & Spa offer Core Zone Teens Club for ages 13-17. Private babysitting services are available at participating locations for an additional fee. To book: dreamsresorts.com
Royalton Luxury Resorts
Royalton resorts feature All-In Luxury®, where every aspect of your vacation has been carefully designed to meet your needs. And with the optional Diamond Club™ upgrade available at all locations, you can have access to an exclusive beach and pool, along with other amenities, for an unforgettable stay. Destinations: Royalton has seven family-friendly locations in Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Dominican Republic, and Mexico. Plus, Royalton Antigua is slated to open in early 2019. Highlights: Each property features a splash pad for kids, on-site entertainment, and an All-In White Party once a week featuring music, dancing, entertainment, and light shows. For extra water fun, select locations have additional waterpark attractions. Riviera Cancun features Splash Safari, with water slides for all ages, water spray features, and a Crocodile Walk Way challenge in the wading pool; White Sands features a pirate-themed splash park with water sprays and slides of varying heights; and Bavaro is the only property with a Flowrider surf machine. Meanwhile, as a sister resort to Grand Memories, Royalton Punta Cana guests and Diamond Club™ members at Bavaro have access to Grand Memories Splash’s waterpark. In addition, all locations have high-speed Wi-Fi, which makes checking in with each other easy (and prevents teens from going into social media withdrawal). Kids Clubs: All Royalton locations offer Clubhouse Kids Club for ages 4-12 and Hangout Teens Club for ages 13-17. The kids’ club allows young resort guests to have fun with their peers while interacting with the beloved brother-sister bunny duo, Max & Ruby. Meanwhile, the club for teen vacationers features PlayStation gaming consoles, pingpong tables, and scheduled activities across the resort. To book: royaltonresorts.com
Don’t tell anyone... Sophia’s sells the best gifts!
Grand Memories and Memories
As their names imply, Grand Memories and Memories resorts aim to help families create lasting memories with natural surroundings, white-sand beaches, and a host of activities for kids. Destinations: Memories and Grand Memories have eight family-friendly resorts located in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Highlights: Memories Splash Punta Cana closed in August for renovations to become Grand Memories Splash and Grand Memories Punta Cana, both slated to open mid-November. Splash features family-friendly accommodations, including rooms with bunk beds, plus one of the largest on-site waterparks in the Caribbean, with seven slides, a wave pool, splash pads, and spray features. As a neighboring property, Grand Memories Punta Cana has access to Splash’s waterpark. Kids Clubs: Each of the Memories and Grand Memories properties offers a kids’ club for ages 4-12, where kids can socialize, play on the playground, and enjoy games. Plus, all kids’ clubs feature Toopy & Binoo, a cat-and-mouse duo that make interactive appearances and host activities and games, as well as a live show. Grand Memories Splash and Punta Cana, as well as Memories Parasio and Flamenco, are the only locations with a Teens’ Lounge for ages 13-17. In addition, Memories Parisio, Varadero, and Flamenco offer Baby Club for ages newborn to 3. To book: memoriesresorts.com
Visit Greenwich’s Best Kept Secret 1 Liberty Way | 203-869-5990 THE MOST UNIQUE ECLECTIC SHOP OUTSIDE OF MANHATTAN. COME TO NEARBY GREENWICH AND FIND AN ENORMOUS ASSORTMENT OF NOVELTIES, GIFTS, AND JEWELRY. XMAS SHOPPE OPENS NOVEMBER 15 Hours: Mon – Sat: 10 – 5:30 Sun: 12 – 5 in December WestchesterParent 17
things to do
N Y C
What’s more festive than a trip to the Land of Sweets?
Get Crackin’ this Christmas
From a luminous owl that ﬂies above the audience to mice dressed in polka dots and dancers with huge chopsticks, this re-imagined version of The Nutcracker bursts with energy and excitement. The production is danced to Tchaikovsky’s beloved score and set in Art Nouveau style circa 1907 with choreography by Keith Michael, set design by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith, and costumes by Resident Costume Designer of the Metropolitan Opera, Sylvia Taalsohn Nolan. Dec. 14-16: Friday, 6pm; Saturday-Sunday, 11am, 1pm, and 3:30pm. Age: All. $27; $15 children. Florence Gould Hall, 55 E. 59th St., Upper East Side. nytb.org.
Train-obsessed children will delight at the sight of mini locomotives.
Dazzling children and adults alike, the Transit Museum’s 17th Annual Holiday Train Show will feature Lionel trains traveling along a 34-foot, two-level, “O” gauge model train layout in the Shuttle Passage of Grand Central Terminal. Departing from a miniature replica of Grand Central on their way to the North Pole, the model trains featured in this year’s exhibit will be set against a backdrop designed by artist Ebony Bolt. Through Feb. 3: Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-6pm. Age: All. FREE. New York Transit Museum Gallery and Store, Grand Central Terminal, Midtown. grandcentralterminal.com.
Courtesy American Girl
W he hile y re ou , v ’r isit e …
At American Girl Holiday Cookie Decorating, visitors will decorate three cookies with festive frosting and sprinkles and then take them home in a to-go box that can be decorated with stickers.
American Girl Place
For a day filled with fun and imagination, head over to American Girl Place to dine with your doll at the American Girl Café for brunch, afternoon tea, lunch, or dinner. Then, visit the salon for a spa treatment, ear piercing for both you and your doll, or get your hair done. It’s way more than just a store; it’s a whole day filled with activities. Visit it: American Girl Place Rockefeller Plaza, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, Midtown; americangirl.com; 877-247-5223 Can’t-miss event: Holiday Cookie Decorating: Fridays, Dec. 7-14 at 11am Directions: Approximately a 1-hour drive or Metro-North and subway ride from White Plains
Courtesy One World Observatory
Courtesy New York Theatre Ballet
Family Fun in Manhattan
At the second annual Winter Onederland, your family will experience the holidaytransformed observatory, with visits from Santa, the Glacier Cave, the Giant Snow Globe, and more.
One World Observatory
See the city from an all new perspective at One World Observatory, where you’ll climb 102 stories in 47 seconds in a SkyPod elevator. Step onto the Sky Portal and see the streets 100 ﬂoors below, and, of course, experience 360 views of the greatest city in the world from the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere! Visit it: One World Observatory, 285 Fulton St., Financial District; 844-595-1776; oneworldobservatory.com Can’t-miss event: Winter Onederland, Nov. 26-Jan. 7, 2019 Directions: Approximately a 1-hour drive or 1-hour, 5-minute Metro-North and subway ride from White Plains
HOLIDAY 2018 FAMILY EVENTS MUSIC, DANCE & FUN FOR ALL AGES THE KLEZMATICS
‘’Happy Joyous Hanukkah” | Lyrics By Woodie Guthrie Thu, Dec 6 @ 7:30pm
MAMARONECK CHORUS Sat, Dec 8 @ 4pm & 7pm
THE RAINBOW FISH Sun, Dec 9 @ 11am & 1:30pm
A one hour family friendly adaptation of the ballet classic Sun, Dec 16 @ 2pm & 5pm Sat, Dec 22 @ 3pm & 7pm
THE PAPER BAG PLAYERS An Emelin Holiday Tradition Wed, Dec 26 @ 11am & 1:30pm
153 LIBRARY LANE, MAMARONECK | 914.698.0098 | EMELIN.ORG
Sunday, Feb. 3rd
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
11 - 2:30PM
The Rainbow Fish Sunday Dec 1 @3pm
66 Hale Avenue | White Plains Use code “WPDEC” on
WestchesterParentsDay.com for a FREE family ticket!
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SPORTIME Lake Isle, Eastchester 914-777-5151 | SportimeNY.com/Lisle SPORTIME Harbor Island, Mamaroneck 914-777-5050 | SportimeNY.com/Hi
Age-Specific Curriculum ASK ABO UT OUR SCHOOL BREAK CAMPS! NON-MEM BER WELCOM S E!
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
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Online Enrollment! Pleasantville | Scarsdale | White Plains Bronxville | Dobbs Ferry | New Rochelle | North Castle
914-771-7000 • www.musicalmunchkins.com
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Turn the page for details on Shark-Diving Santa (No. 8 on our list).
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DECEMBER CALENDAR 28
Movers & Shakers,
Editor’s Hot Tickets
We Can’t Believe It’s FREE!
Animal Lovers, Kindness Crusaders, Special Needs
Smarty Pants, Holiday Fun
The Great Outdoors
EDITOR’S HOT TICKETS
Our calendar is full of great ideas. First, here are the 10 events we consider can’t-miss—the ones we’re taking our own kids to. Consider it your cheat sheet to the best of what’s great this month!
The Laurie Berkner Band in a Holiday Celebration Concert
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1, 11am and 3pm WHERE: Tarrytown Music Hall, 13 Main St., Tarrytown AGES: All WHAT: Children’s recording artist and preschool television favorite, Laurie Berkner, will celebrate the season with traditional, secular songs and Jewish songs. WHY WE LOVE IT: In addition to holiday songs, Laurie’s band will play her hits like “We Are The Dinosaurs” and “Pig On Her Head.” WANT TO GO? $35 and up. 877-840-0457. tarrytownmusichall.org.
Menorah Lighting Celebration FREE
WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 6, 5:30pm WHERE: Stew Leonard’s, 1 Stew Leonard Drive, Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: The Youth of Scarsdale Synagogue is leading traditional Hanukkah song-singing, followed by the lighting of a 21-foot menorah. WHY WE LOVE IT: Kids will enjoy potato pancakes (latkes) and applesauce, jelly donuts, hot cocoa, and juice. WANT TO GO? 914-375-4700. stewleonards.com.
Brunch with Santa
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8, 10am and 1:45pm WHERE: Westchester Broadway Theatre, 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford AGES: All WHAT: Share a memorable time with your kids through musical entertainment, a sing-along, and good food. 22
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
WHY WE LOVE IT: Bring your camera so you can take a picture with Santa. WANT TO GO? $40; $27 children ages 13 and younger. 914-592-2222. broadwaytheatre.com.
‘The Colonial Nutcracker’
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8, 2pm and 7pm WHERE: Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, 1008 Brown St., Peekskill AGES: All WHAT: See Tchaikovsky’s ballet set in colonial Yorktown, complete with a mouse army, nutcracker prince, and simultaneous narration to help young audience members enjoy this classic. WHY WE LOVE IT: You don’t have to trek all the way into the city to see a classic nutcracker production. WANT TO GO? $28.50. 914-739-0039. paramounthudsonvalley.com.
WHEN: Through Dec. 9: Weekends, 3:30-7pm WHERE: Boscobel House, 1601 Route 9D, Garrison AGES: All WHAT: With the mansion lit by candles, decorated for a 19th-century Christmas, and resonating with live string music, Twilight Tours offer an especially beautiful view of Boscobel House and Gardens. WHY WE LOVE IT: Stick around for a post-tour reception in the decorated gallery, live holiday music in the Visitor Center, and a reimagined Design Shop. WANT TO GO? $26, $16 children; free for children younger than 5. 845-265-3638. boscobel.org.
Theater O Presents: ‘The Stinky Cheese Man & Other Fairly Stupid Tales’
WHEN: Dec. 19 -21, Wednesday-Friday, 7pm WHERE: Bethany Arts Community, 40 Somerstown Road, Ossining AGES: All WHAT: Everything from Chicken Little to The Gingerbread Man gets a complete makeover with fun music and witty narration. WHY WE LOVE IT: The show features 1st-6th grade performers. WANT TO GO? $10. 914-487-4322. theatero.org.
The Paper Bag Players: ‘Stand Up & Cheer, We’re 60 This Year!’
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 26, 4pm and 7pm WHERE: Emelin Theatre, 153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Don’t miss lively music and dance, audience participation, larger-than-life characters, sing-alongs, and stories. WHY WE LOVE IT: Give a nod to an impressive 60 years while watching a blend of classic sketches and brand new works. WANT TO GO? $20; $15 children. 914-698-0098. emelin.org.
WHEN: Dec. 6 -30, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 12:15pm and 2:15pm WHERE: Maritime Aquarium, 10 N. Water St., Norwalk, CT AGES: All WHAT: Santa Claus will join The Maritime Aquarium’s dive team in December to help demonstrate that sharks aren’t bloodthirsty killers. WHY WE LOVE IT: Watch him swim up to the exhibit window and pose for pictures! WANT TO GO? $24.95; $22.95 seniors; $17.95 children ages 3-12. 203-852-0700. maritimeaquarium.org.
Westchester’s Winter Wonderland
WHEN: Through Dec. 31: Thursdays, 5-9pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 5-10pm; Sundays, 5-9pm WHERE: Kensico Dam Plaza, 1 Bronx River Parkway Road, Valhalla AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate the season with ice skating, rides, a holiday circus, magic shows, a musical light show and Christmas tree, and a Santa experience! WHY WE LOVE IT: It’s a fun, festive night out on the town for the whole family. WANT TO GO? $18-$20; free for children 3 and younger. 914-2314600. wwinterwonderland.com.
27th Annual Holiday Train Show
WHEN: Through Jan. 21, 2019: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm WHERE: The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Featuring model trains, trolleys, and ferries, this annual show highlights NYC landmarks using natural materials. WHY WE LOVE IT: For the first time ever, this year’s display will feature boats! WANT TO GO? $23; $10 children ages 2-12; free for children younger than 2. 718-817-8700. nybg.org.
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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 seven no-cost events we’re excited about now. You’re welcome. Gan Shabbat Services FREE
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1, 10:30am-12pm WHERE: Bet Torah Nursery School, 60 Smith Ave., Mount Kisco AGES: 3-8 WHAT: This interactive introduction to Shabbat songs, stories, and prayers takes place in the synagogue library. WANT TO GO? 914-666-7595. bettorah.org.
Sinterklaas Festival Day FREE
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1, see website for schedule WHERE: Various Venues in Rhinebeck, Various Venues in Rhinebeck, Rhinebeck AGES: All WHAT: A day-long, colorful celebration that features children’s workshops, dance, theatre, and music all over the village of Rhinebeck. WANT TO GO? sinterklaashudsonvalley.com.
A Creative Moment FREE
WHEN: Through Dec. 13: Thursdays, 6-8pm WHERE: Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Road, North Salem AGES: 9 and older WHAT: Bring your own project or open one of the library’s Art Boxes for an easy, self-directed project. There are plenty of supplies and coloring books. WANT TO GO? 914-669-5161. ruthkeelermemoriallibrary.org.
Collectibles & Artisan Boutique: Exhibition and Sale of the Handmade FREE
WHEN: Through Dec. 29: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday, 10am-4pm WHERE: Pelham Art Center, 155 Fifth Ave., Pelham AGES: All WHAT: Skilled artisans will be showcasing ceramics, silver works, jewelry, glass, leather, and more. WANT TO GO? 845-480-1258. pelhamartcenter.org.
Babies & Bagels FREE
WHEN: Through May 21, 2019: select Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:15-10:30am WHERE: Temple Israel Center, 280 Old Mamaroneck Road, White Plains AGES: Newborn to 2 WHAT: Share breakfast, converse with other parents, and listen to speakers with topics including sleep issues, nutrition, dealing with in-laws, and separation. WANT TO GO? 914-948-2800. templeisraelcenter.org. ›› WestchesterParent 23
KINDNESS CRUSADERS Chanukah Village FREE
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 2, 1-4pm WHERE: Chabad of the Rivertowns, Main Street, Irvington AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy a holiday train ride, horse drawn carriage rides, gelt drop, balloon sculpting, Hanukkah crafts, latkes, and a Menorah lighting. WANT TO GO? 914-693-6100. chanukah2018.com.
7th Annual Westchester All Stars and Friends Christmas for Veterans Concert
ANIMAL LOVERS Reptiles of Connecticut
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 7, 6:30-8pm WHERE: The Stamford Museum & Nature Center, 39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford, CT AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Meet and learn about some live Connecticut reptiles WANT TO GO? $5-$8. 203-977-6521. stamfordmuseum.org.
Family Art Project: Wintery Birdy Marionettes
WHEN: Dec. 15 -16, Saturday-Sunday, 10am-1pm WHERE: Wave Hill, 649 W. 249th St., Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Spotted winter birds at Wave Hill and make bird marionettes. WANT TO GO? $8; $4 students and seniors; $2 children ages 6-18; free for children younger than 6; free until 12pm on Saturday. 718-5493200. wavehill.org.
Animal Military Heroes FREE
WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 20, 4pm WHERE: The Field Library, 4 Nelson Ave., Peekskill AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Special guest Ruby the therapy dog joins for a story WANT TO GO? 914-737-0847. fieldkids.wordpress.com.
Young Discoverers: Feathers and Fur
WHEN: Dec. 5 -26, Thursdays, 11-11:30am WHERE: Westchester Children’s Museum, 100 Playland Parkway, Rye AGES: Newborn to 5 WHAT: Children will become junior ornithologists and zoologists WANT TO GO? $7; $6 seniors; free for children younger than 1. 914421-5050. discoverwcm.org.
Animal Embassy FREE
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 28, 11am WHERE: Warner Library, 121 N. Broadway, Tarrytown AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Meet a rabbit, African bullfrog, South American chinchilla, axolotl, duck, and learn about hibernation, migration, brumation, and adaptation. WANT TO GO? 914-631-7734. warnerlibrary.org.
Daddy-and-Me Animal Show
WHEN: Through May 4, 2019: select Saturdays, 9:15am WHERE: Friends of Rye Nature Center, 873 Boston Post Road, Rye AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Fathers can drop in with their children for this fun-filled animal adventure. WANT TO GO? $10-$15 per family. 914-967-5150. ryenaturecenter.org. 24
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30pm WHERE: Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, 1008 Brown St., Peekskill AGES: All WHAT: A night of rock, soul, blues, and more. Proceeds go to veteran charities. WANT TO GO? $35 and up. 914-739-0039. paramounthudsonvalley.com.
Christmas Tree Sale FREE
WHEN: Through Dec. 23: Fridays, 4-8pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-6pm WHERE: North White Plains Firehouse, 621 N. Broadway, North White Plains AGES: All WHAT: Find your family’s holiday tree at this annual sale and fundraiser. WANT TO GO? 914-949-3575. ncsfd1.com.
Shopping Fundraiser for the Institute for Children with Autism and Related Disorders FREE
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 3, 9am-8pm WHERE: Toy Box, 300 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy 20 percent off your purchase for the day, with 10 percent going to the Institute for Children with Autism and Related Disorders. WANT TO GO? 914-698-7110. toyboxmamaroneckny.com.
9th Annual ‘Ring in the New Year at Noon’
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 31, 10:30am-12:30pm WHERE: New Roc City, 33 Le Count Place, New Rochelle AGES: All WHAT: This countdown is complete with a balloon drop, plus crafts, a DJ, clowns, and more. The event will support the New Rochelle Public Library. WANT TO GO? $10 donation per family. 914-960-1460. newrochelledowntown.com.
SPECIAL NEEDS Holiday Dance for the Disabled FREE
WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 6:30-9pm WHERE: Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains AGES: All WHAT: A festive holiday dance for residents of Westchester County who have disabilities. WANT TO GO? 914-347-4409. northeastspecialrec.org.
Sensory Friendly Storytime with Miss Paulene FREE
WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 10am WHERE: Andersons Larchmont, 96 Chatsworth Ave., Larchmont AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Story time for children with autism and their caregiver. WANT TO GO? 914-834-6900. andersonsbooksny.com.
DANCE PARTY Superstars of Ballroom: Christmas Edition
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 3, 11:15am and 6:15pm WHERE: Westchester Broadway Theatre, 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford AGES: 9 and older WHAT: The best dancers in US/World Competitions perform WANT TO GO? $55 and up. 914-592-2222. broadwaytheatre.com.
Holiday 2018 FREE
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 7, 7pm WHERE: Dance Cavise Studios, 273 Halstead Ave., Mamaroneck AGES: 3-17 WHAT: Celebrate the holiday season with dance, acting, and song WANT TO GO? 914-381-5222. dancecavise.com.
Holiday Party Featuring Grateful Dead for Kids With Stella Blues Band WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 15, 11:30am and 3pm WHERE: Garcia’s At The Capitol Theatre, 145 Westchester Ave., Port Chester AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Performing songs created by the most iconic musicians in rock WANT TO GO? $15-$17. 646-230-0100. therockandrollplayhouse.com.
Ballet des Ameriques’ ‘Nutcracker Dream’
WHEN: Dec. 16 -22, Sunday, 2pm and 5pm; Saturday, 3pm and 7pm WHERE: Emelin Theater, 153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck AGES: All WHAT: A one-hour family-friendly adaptation of the classic ballet. WANT TO GO? $20-$25. 646-753-0457. balletdesameriques.com. ››
A FUN-FILLED BID FAMILY DAY EVENT.
Our practice is designed speciﬁcally for your child’s comfort. The open bay treatment areas, child friendly themes, and parent friendly atmosphere are designed to enhance your family’s dental experience. We take pride in caring for our community by providing high quality, conveniently accessible, compassionate oral health care in a nurturing environment. Dr. Benjamin Dancygier is devoted to helping mothers, newborns & infants overcome nursing and feeding challenges. Dr. Ben sees infants for frenectomy procedures to correct abnormal frenum attachments known as tongue-tie ot lip-tie.
Common Symptoms of a Tongue or Lip Tie Mama's Symptoms
• Pain & discomfort while nursing • Poor latch • Clicking sound while nursing • Creased/ﬂat/blanched nipples • Gassiness • Low milk supply • Reﬂux or colic • Gags on milk or pops oﬀ breast • Plugged ducts / mastitis frequently to gasp for air • Nursing frequently or for long • Poor weight gain periods of time • Bleeding, abraded or cut nipples • Falls asleep while nursing
Celebrate the entrance into 2019 with an exciting noon-time countdown to a climactic 3,000 balloon drop in the Times Square inspired atrium of New Roc City. Monday, Dec. 31st, 10:30am–12:30pm For children 2 –10 Register at: 2018rinyatnoon.eventbrite.com or newrochelledowntown.com
WWW.VALLEYPEDIATRICDENTISTRY.COM 845.226.8577 914.245.7100 1557 ROUTE 82, SUITE 2 3630 HILL BLVD., SUITE 101 HOPEWELL JUNCTION. NY JEFFERSON VALLEY, NY WestchesterParent 25
11/9/18 12:07 PM
First Saturday Art Workshop
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1, 11am-1pm WHERE: Westchester Children’s Museum, 100 Playland Parkway, Rye AGES: All WHAT: Drop in for a hands-on art workshop led by fine arts and crafts specialist. WANT TO GO? $7; $6 seniors; free for children younger than 1. 914-421-5050. discoverwcm.org.
Family Art Project: The Wonder of the Wardian Case
WHEN: Dec. 1-2, Saturday-Sunday, 10am-1pm WHERE: Wave Hill, 649 W. 249th St., Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Create a Wardian case, a simple terrarium for transporting living plants from the far corners of the globe. WANT TO GO? $8; $4 students and seniors; $2 children ages 6-18; free for children younger than 6; free until 12pm on Saturdays. 718-549-3200. wavehill.org.
Polar Bear Masks
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 3, 4-4:45pm WHERE: Lil Chameleon, 29 Elm St., Tuckahoe AGES: 3-5 WHAT: Let your little one make a 3D polar bear mask. WANT TO GO? $10. 914-346-5148. lilchameleon.com.
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 11:30am-2pm WHERE: Creative Corner of Larchmont, 7 Addison St., Larchmont AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Let the littles take acrylic paint to a board. WANT TO GO? $50. 914-630-0051. creativecornerlarchmont.com.
Ornament Making- Up-Cycled Trees
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8, 1-3pm WHERE: Pelham Art Center, 155 Fifth Ave., Village of Pelham AGES: 9 and older WHAT: Create a one-of-a-kind, up-cycled tree ornament. WANT TO GO? $45. 914-738-2525. pelhamartcenter.org.
Family Holiday Crafting from Nature
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8, 10am WHERE: Sheldrake Environmental Center, 685 Weaver St., Larchmont AGES: 5-12, Adult WHAT: Join for a nature-inspired, holiday craft-making program. WANT TO GO? TBA. 914-834-1443. sheldrakecenter.org.
Fashion Forward Family Day
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 9, 12-4pm WHERE: Katonah Museum of Art, 134 Jay St., Katonah AGES: 5-17 WHAT: A day of fashion fun with a Pop-Up Runway Show, wearable art activities, and prizes for creative designs. WANT TO GO? $10; $5 seniors and students; free for children younger than 12. 914-232-9555. katonahmuseum.org.
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 15, 1pm WHERE: Friends of Rye Nature Center, 873 Boston Post Road, Rye AGES: 5-17 WHAT: Children will make colorful candles to light up the holidays. WANT TO GO? $5-$8. 914-967-5150. ryenaturecenter.org. 26
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
Family Tour: Landscapes Above & Below
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2:30pm WHERE: Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: Learn about the Hudson River’s connection to deep undersea canyons and efforts to conserve these habitats, then create 3D wire landscapes. WANT TO GO? $7; $5 seniors; $4 children ages 3-18; free for children younger than 3. 914-963-4550. hrm.org.
Holiday Crafts FREE
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 22, 11am WHERE: The Field Library, 4 Nelson Ave., Peekskill AGES: All WHAT: Make a festive craft for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. WANT TO GO? 914-737-0847. fieldkids.wordpress.com.
Art Adventures: Symmetrical Snowflakes
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 23, 1-3pm WHERE: Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT AGES: 5-12 WHAT: In this program, participants will have the opportunity to craft works of art inspired by the museum’s collections and exhibitions. WANT TO GO? $10; $8 students and seniors; free for children younger than 5. 203-869-0376. brucemuseum.org.
Kids Arts & Crafts Lab FREE
WHEN: Through Dec. 26: Wednesdays, 3:30-4:30pm WHERE: Croton Free Library, 171 Cleveland Drive, Croton-on-Hudson AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Learn how famous artists worked, make your own art, and take it home. WANT TO GO? 914-271-6612. crotonfreelibrary.org.
New Years Confetti Poppers
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 28, 10:45-11:30am WHERE: Lil Chameleon, 29 Elm St., Tuckahoe AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Make some magical New Years Eve confetti poppers. WANT TO GO? $15. 914-346-5148. lilchameleon.com.
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 28, 10am-12pm WHERE: Creative Corner of Larchmont, 7 Addison St., Larchmont AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Kids will paint a snowman on a canvas board. WANT TO GO? $40. 914-630-0051. creativecornerlarchmont.com.
School’s Out/Art’s In
WHEN: Dec. 26 -28, daily, 10am-3pm WHERE: Katonah Museum of Art, 134 Jay St., Katonah AGES: 3-17 WHAT: Get ready for artist-led projects like Outrageous Neckpieces, Crowns & Wands, and Up-cycled Body Ornaments. WANT TO GO? $5-$10. 914-232-9555. katonahmuseum.org. ››
Come Grow With Us!
White Plains & Chappaqua
Pre-professional • Beginner Levels
Dancing Tots Ballet
steffinossen.org • 914.328.1900
GA R D E N
Come visit us!
W! O SN U 6 N JOI ES 2 AG
Our educational philosophy is to develop the Physical, Social and Emotional growth of each child through creative exploration and expression. Garden House School 25 South State Road Briarcliff Manor 914-941-0404
M A G I C O F T H E HO L I D A YS
www.gardenhouseschool.com FEATURING AMERICA’S GOT TALENT WINNER
Looking for a More Experiential Education for Your Child?
Come visit the Lower Hudson Valley's only progressive school, where students engage in a dynamic and discovery-based curriculum infused with the arts, nature, and play. Encouraging critical thinking, collaboration and creativity for the last 30 years—Blue Rock is a great alternative for grades K-8.
Information Session & Campus Tour
Saturday, January 26 at 10 AM Please register at email@example.com or 845-535-3353
Ticketmaster.com • 877-250-2929 Marquis Theatre 210 West 46th Street TheI llusionistsLive.com
Where Learning Comes Alive! West Nyack, NY — www.bluerockschool.org
MUSICIANS Birthday Celebration Featuring Music of The Allman Brothers for Kids
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8, 11:30am and 3pm WHERE: Garcia’s At The Capitol Theatre, 145 Westchester Ave., Port Chester AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Rock out to some Allman Brothers tunes with your kids. WANT TO GO? $15-$17. 646-230-0100. therockandrollplayhouse.com.
River Song Concert
MOVERS & SHAKERS Baby Moves!
WHEN: Through Dec. 18: Tuesdays, 9am WHERE: Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, 75 N. Water St., Poughkeepsie AGES: Newborn to 5 WHAT: Parent-baby dance time, simple baby games to play, and songs WANT TO GO? $8. 845-471-0589. mhcm.org.
Itsy Bitsy Playgroup FREE
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8, 2pm WHERE: Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: For this river-inspired concert, Jim Keyes will play a variety of songs, both lively covers and original pieces WANT TO GO? $7; $5 seniors; $4 children ages 3-18; free for children younger than 3. 914-963-4550. hrm.org.
Jessica Lynn- ‘A Very Merry Country Christmas’
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 15, 8pm WHERE: Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, 1008 Brown St., Peekskill AGES: All WHAT: Country music star Jessica Lynn performs alongside dancers, singers, musicians, a “Toys for Tots” drive, and maybe even a visit from Santa himself! WANT TO GO? $25-$35. 914-739-0039. paramounthudsonvalley.com.
WHEN: Dec. 5 -26, Wednesdays, 10:30-11:30am WHERE: Temple Sholom, 300 E. Putnam Ave., Greenwich, CT AGES: Newborn to 2, Adult WHAT: Connect with other parents while engaging your infant/toddler in a group setting through music, motor play, and story time. WANT TO GO? 203-622-8121. templesholom.com.
LIVE! At 650 Lee FREE
Story Book Yoga FREE
Groove Jingle JAM
WHEN: Through Dec. 28: Fridays, 10:15-10:45am WHERE: Croton Free Library, 171 Cleveland Drive, Croton-on-Hudson AGES: Newborn to 5 WHAT: A certified kids’ yoga instructor leads participants in acting out favorite stories through yoga, music, movement, breath, and sound. WANT TO GO? 914-271-6612. crotonfreelibrary.org. WHEN: Through Dec. 30: Sunday-Thursday, 10am-5:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 10am-8:30pm WHERE: Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure, 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx AGES: 9 and older WHAT: Zip across the Bronx River and try some climbing courses. WANT TO GO? $24.99 and up. 718-220-5100. bronxzootreetop.com.
Ice Skating Rink
WHEN: Through Jan. 13, 2019: Tuesday-Friday, 4-8pm; Saturday-Sunday, 12-8pm; open Christmas Eve; closed Christmas Day; New Years Day, 12-4pm WHERE: Cross County Shopping Center, 8000 Mall Walk, Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: Glide on a synthetic floor using real ice skates. WANT TO GO? Tuesday-Thursday, $8; Friday-Sunday, $12; free for children younger than 4. 914-968-9570. crosscountycenter.com.
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
WHEN: Through Dec. 21: Fridays, 5-7pm; Saturdays, 2-4pm WHERE: Jefferson Valley Mall, 650 Lee Blvd., Yorktown Heights AGES: All WHAT: This concert series features blues, soul, rock, reggae, and jazz. WANT TO GO? 914-739-1224. fordpiano.com. WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 22, 9:30am and 10:30am WHERE: Groove @ Artistree, 114 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck AGES: Newborn to 5 WHAT: Join in a 45-minute live music experience for kids accompanied by an actively participating grown-up. WANT TO GO? $30. 914-834-3383. findgroove.com. WHEN: Dec. 16 -22, Sunday, 2pm and 5pm; Saturday, 3pm and 7pm WHERE: Emelin Theatre, 153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Steph Chinn is pulling together a roster of multi-generational voices from the area to perform a unique mix of his favorite music from holiday standards to Coldplay. WANT TO GO? $5 and up. 914-698-0098. emelin.org/mamaroneck-chorus.
Puppet Friends Holiday Concert
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 29, 11-11:45am WHERE: Lil Chameleon, 29 Elm St., Tuckahoe AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Join Flor Bromley, her furry puppet friends, and a musician to celebrate the holidays with stories, songs, rhythm, and music. WANT TO GO? $25 per family. 914-346-5148. lilchameleon.com. ››
HOMMOCKS PARK ICE RINK Ice Skating For A Lifetime
Come learn from our experienced Montessori teachers who provide an individual, hands on learning environment. We offer a variety of toddler and pre-K programs! Extended hours are available.
2018—2019 SEASON RUNS THROUGH JUNE 16TH, 2019
27 Crane Rd. 914-472-4404
46 Fox Meadow Rd. 914-595-7551
535 Broadway 914-693-4443
ACT NOW TO ACT OUT!
in cooperation with The City of Stamford Theatre Arts Classes for Young and Old begin January 7, 2019: Acting for the Stage, TV and Film Acting, Musical Theatre, Comedy and Improv, Dance...AND MORE!!! After school, evenings and weekends for ages 5 to adult! Scholarships, sibling discounts and payment plans available!
DAILY SCHEDULE Sat 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Sun 11:30 AM – 4:00 PM Mon 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM Tues 1:00 PM – 5:15 PM Wed Closed Thurs 1:00 PM – 5:15 PM Fri 1:00 PM – 5:15 PM 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Mamaroneck’s indoor public ice skating facility. Open daily except Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas. Lessons for ages 4 to adult, beginner to advanced.
For admission, fees, or other info., please call 914-834-1069 BOSTON POST RD. & WEAVER ST. LARCHMONT, NY www.hommocksparkicerink.org
Celebrate A Birthday On Ice!
1349 Newfield Ave. Stamford, CT 06905
203-329-8207 x16 curtaincallinc.com THE BEST PEDIATRIC EYE CARE – HERE IN HAWTHORNE – SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY: 914-909-4700
SPEND THE HOLIDAYS PLAYING! We are open with exhibits, MakerSpace, programs, hands-on activities and a special holiday POP-UP SHOP CO-SPONSER
Westchester Children’s Museum 100 Playland Parkway Rye, NY info@discoverWCM.org | 914-421-5050 | www.discoverWCM.org
HOLIDAY FUN Annual Christmas Tree Sale FREE
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1, 8am-1pm WHERE: Huguenot Memorial Church, 901 Pelhamdale Ave., Pelham AGES: All WHAT: Scope out trees, gifts, and snacks, and visit Santa WANT TO GO? 914-738-3488. huguenotchurch.org.
David Seebach’s Merry Magic Holiday Show
SMARTY PANTS Family Saturdays @ The Lab FREE
WHEN: Through Dec. 1: Saturdays, 1-3pm WHERE: Jacob Burns Film Center, 405 Manville Road, Pleasantville AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Expect everything from animation and sound editing to live green-screening and group storytelling projects. WANT TO GO? 914-747-5555. burnsfilmcenter.org/jbfc-kids.
Bruce Beginnings, Jr. FREE
WHEN: Through Dec. 13: Thursdays, 9:45-10:45 am WHERE: Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT AGES: Newborn to 2 WHAT: An experience through hands-on play and exploration inspired by the museum’s collections and exhibits. WANT TO GO? $10; $8 seniors and students; free for children younger than 5. 203-869-0376. brucemuseum.org.
Science Sunday: Medical Sketching
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 16, 1-3pm WHERE: Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT AGES: 5-12 WHAT: Explore simple science concepts while partaking in fun, kid-friendly experiments, projects, and crafts inspired by the museum’s collections. WANT TO GO? $10; $8 students and seniors; free for children younger than 5. 203-869-0376. brucemuseum.org.
Adoption: Everything You Need to Know FREE
WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 6-7:30pm WHERE: Port Chester - Rye Brook Public Library, 1 Haseco Ave., Port Chester AGES: All WHAT: Learn about the domestic adoption process and meet the staff of Forever Families Through Adoption. WANT TO GO? 914-939-6710. foreverfamiliesthroughadoption.org.
School’s Out, Stars Are In (SOSI)
WHEN: Dec. 26 -28, Wednesday-Friday, 12-5pm WHERE: Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: Students who are on school break are invited to take part in art and science workshops, gallery activities, face painting, demonstrations, and free planetarium shows. WANT TO GO? $7; $5 seniors; $4 children ages 3-18; free for children younger than 3. 914-963-4550. hrm.org.
Teen Studio: Eco-Activist Art
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 29, 3-5pm WHERE: Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers AGES: 13-17 WHAT: Explore environmental activism through art and learn what you can do to make a statement on endangered species. WANT TO GO? $5. 914-963-4550. hrm.org. 30
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1, 8-10pm WHERE: Westchester Community College - Academic Arts Theatre, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla AGES: All WHAT: An award-winning magician does illusions in Yuletide fantasies. WANT TO GO? $24; $22 students and seniors; $18 children younger than 13. 914-606-6262. sunywcc.edu.
Cocoa & Carols with Mrs. Claus FREE
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 2, 11am WHERE: Cross County Shopping Center, 8000 Mall Walk, Yonkers AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Cozy up for caroling, stories, cocoa, cookies, and lots of holiday fun. WANT TO GO? 914-968-9570. crosscountycenter.com.
Menorah Lighting FREE
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 3, 6-8pm WHERE: Cross County Shopping Center, 8000 Mall Walk, Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: Light the menorah, enjoy live music, dancing, and treats. WANT TO GO? 914-968-9570. crosscountycenter.com.
Family Hannukah program with Author Amalia Hoffman FREE
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 7-7:45pm WHERE: White Plains Public Library, 100 Martine Ave., White Plains AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Follow cats and dreidels and see how much fun counting is WANT TO GO? 914-422-1476. whiteplainslibrary.org.
Darlene Love - Love for the Holidays
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 8pm WHERE: Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, 1008 Brown St., Peekskill AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy Darlene Love as she delights with beautiful holiday music. WANT TO GO? $39 and up. 914-739-0039. paramounthudsonvalley.com.
Holiday Music and the Holiday of Christmas FREE
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8, 1-3:30pm WHERE: St.Paul’s Church NHS, 897 S. Columbus Ave., Mount Vernon AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy a performance of holiday music and seasonal carols, plus a presentation about the historical development of Christmas in America. WANT TO GO? 914-667-4116. nps.gov/sapa.
Merry Christmas Darling: ‘Carpenters’ Christmas’
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 9, 3pm WHERE: Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, 1008 Brown St., Peekskill AGES: All WHAT: A new twist on the Carpenters’ sound and storytelling WANT TO GO? $29 and up. 914-739-0039. paramounthudsonvalley.com.
Special Christmas Stories in Motion Program FREE
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 15, 3:30-4:30pm WHERE: Andersons Larchmont, 96 Chatsworth Ave., Larchmont AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Celebrate Christmas with stories, activities, a toy drive, and music. WANT TO GO? 914-834-6900. andersonsbooksny.com.
Holiday Stories from Around the World
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 15, 3pm WHERE: Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: April Armstrong and Mario Sprouse perform holiday stories from Victorian Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah traditions. WANT TO GO? $7; $5 seniors; $4 children ages 3-18; free for children younger than 3. 914-963-4550. hrm.org.
Santa Visits the Rosen House
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 16, 12pm and 3pm WHERE: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, 149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah AGES: All WHAT: I Spy a Santa or Two in the Music Room, followed by a 30-minute concert of holiday songs= and a visit with Santa Claus. WANT TO GO? $15; $10 children. 914-232-1252. caramoor.org.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS Hibernation Program
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 1, 1pm WHERE: Friends of Rye Nature Center, 873 Boston Post Road, Rye AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Hike around the property looking for burrows and hibernaculum that animals may be snuggled up in. WANT TO GO? $5-$8. 914-967-5150. ryenaturecenter.org.
Saw Mill River Audubon Second Saturday Walk FREE
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8, 9-11am WHERE: Brinton Brook Sanctuary, 1339 Albany Post Road (Route 9A), Croton-on-Hudson AGES: 9 and older WHAT: These monthly walks will continue year-round on second Saturdays. WANT TO GO? 914-666-6503. sawmillriveraudubon.org.
WHEN: Dec. 14 -16, Friday, 10am; Saturday, 12:30pm and 4:30pm; Sunday, 2pm WHERE: Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains AGES: All WHAT: The Nutcracker Prince and Clara battle the Mouse King and journey to the Land of Sweets. WANT TO GO? $29; $23 seniors and children ages 10 and younger; $33 day of performance. 800-745-3000. westchesterballet.wordpress.com.
Saw Mill River Audubon Third Sunday Walk FREE
Brunch with Santa
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 28, 9am-12pm WHERE: Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx AGES: 3-5 WHAT: Campers will enjoy exhibit visits, up-close animal encounters, and hands-on activities, both inside and outside. WANT TO GO? $60. 800-433-4149. bronxzoo.com.
WHEN: Dec. 15 -16, Saturday-Sunday, 9:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm WHERE: Stew Leonard’s, 1 Stew Leonard Drive, Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: Holiday brunch and photo op with Santa and his friends. WANT TO GO? $16.95; $11.95 children younger than 12. 914-375-4700. stewleonards.com.
Photos with Santa + Free Gift
WHEN: Through Dec. 24: see website for schedule WHERE: Cross County Shopping Center, 8000 Mall Walk, Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: Santa will be available for photos. A pop-up holiday ice-skating rink, a tree lighting celebration, and Cocoa & Carols with Mrs. Claus. WANT TO GO? Participants must purchase one of two photo packages for $39.99 or $49.99. 914-968-9570. celebrateyourholiday.com.
Holidays on the Hill Train Show
WHEN: Through Dec. 30: Saturdays and Sundays, 12-6pm WHERE: Lasdon Park, 2610 Amawalk Road, Katonah AGES: All WHAT: Lights, trains, the main house, a conservatory exhibit, and Santa. WANT TO GO? $5-$10. 914-864-7263. lasdonpark.org.
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 16, 3:30-5pm WHERE: Pruyn Sanctuary, 275 Woodmill Road, Chappaqua AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Meet at the Woodmill Road trails entrance of Pruyn Sanctuary for a family-friendly walk. WANT TO GO? 914-666-6503. sawmillriveraudubon.org.
Flurry Zone! An Indoor Snow Experience
WHEN: Through Dec. 31: daily, 10am-4pm WHERE: Maritime Aquarium, 10 N. Water St., Norwalk, CT AGES: All WHAT: A special snow machine will produce a squall every hour on the hour for five minutes. WANT TO GO? $24.95; $22.95 seniors; $17.95 children ages 3-12. 203-852-0700. maritimeaquarium.org.
Mommy & Me
WHEN: Through May 20, 2019: select Mondays, 9:45-10:45am WHERE: Friends of Rye Nature Center, 873 Boston Post Road, Rye AGES: Newborn to 5 WHAT: Make crafts and meet animals while learning about the natural world. WANT TO GO? $10-$15 per family. 914-967-5150. ryenaturecenter.org. ››
“Noon” Year’s Eve
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 31, 11am-2pm WHERE: Maritime Aquarium, 10 N. Water St., Norwalk, CT AGES: All WHAT: A DJ will provide the beat, as well as a countdown to 12pm. WANT TO GO? $24.95; $22.95 seniors; $17.95 children ages 3-12. 203852-0700. maritimeaquarium.org.
Family New Year’s Eve Party
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 31, 5-9pm WHERE: Kensico Dam Plaza, 1 Bronx River Parkway Road, Valhalla AGES: All WHAT: A holiday circus, magic show, ice skating, rides, and ball drop at 7pm. WANT TO GO? $20; free for children 3 and younger. 914-231-4600. wwinterwonderland.com.
‘A Christmas Carol’
WHEN: Through Dec. 23, see website for show times WHERE: Westchester Broadway Theatre, 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford AGES: All WHAT: This new adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic features an original score as well as many traditional carols. WANT TO GO? $53 and up. 914-592-2222. broadwaytheatre.com.
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’
SHOW TIME! Disney’s ‘101 Dalmatians’
WHEN: Dec. 1 -2, Saturday and Sunday, 12:30pm WHERE: Irvington Town Hall Theater, 85 Main St., Irvington AGES: All WHAT: This stage adaptation of 101 Dalmatians is certain to tickle performers and audiences alike. WANT TO GO? $20; $16 students and seniors. 914-591-6602. irvingtontheater.com.
The Rainbow Fish / Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 2, 3pm WHERE: The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase AGES: All WHAT: A puppetry performance based on a book about a beautiful fish with scales of silver and a heart of gold WANT TO GO? $11.25-$42.50. 914-251-6263. artscenter.org.
1940’s Radio Hour
WHEN: Nov. 30 - Dec. 2, Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2pm and 8pm; Sunday, 7pm WHERE: Arc Stages, 147 Wheeler Ave., Pleasantville AGES: 9 and older WHAT: Full of 1940s music, dancing, and old-time sound effects, this play transports the audience back in time. WANT TO GO? $28; $22 seniors and students. 914-747-6206. arcstages.org.
Interactive Movie Screening: ‘Elf’
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8, 4pm WHERE: Chappaqua Performing Arts Center, 480 Bedford Road, Chappaqua AGES: All WHAT: Think Rocky Horror Picture Show, but with snowballs! WANT TO GO? $15 and up. 914-458-5143. chappaquapac.org.
The Rainbow Fish
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 9, 11am and 1:30pm WHERE: Emelin Theatre, 153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck AGES: 3-8 WHAT: This original stage adaptation of Marcus Pfister’s colorful story incorporates innovative puppetry, striking visual effects in black light, and original music. WANT TO GO? $20; $15 children. 914-698-0098. emelin.org.
WHEN: Dec. 24 -25, Monday and Tuesday, 12pm WHERE: Jacob Burns Film Center, 364 Manville Road, Pleasantville AGES: 9 and older WHAT: George Bailey who, facing financial ruin and possible jail time, is assisted by Clarence, a bumbling guardian angel looking to get his wings after 200 years with no such luck. WANT TO GO? $14; $7.50 children age 13 and younger. 914-747-5555. burnsfilmcenter.org.
Sunday Cinema @ the TROVE FREE
WHEN: Dec. 2 -30, Sundays, 2pm WHERE: White Plains Public Library, 100 Martine Ave., White Plains AGES: 5 and older WHAT: This month’s movies include Muppet Treasure Island, The Phantom Tollbooth, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Polar Express, and Solo: A Star Wars Story. WANT TO GO? 914-422-1476. whiteplainslibrary.org.
‘A Wintry Wizard of Oz’
WHEN: Dec. 22 -30, Saturday-Monday, 12pm WHERE: Bendheim Center of Performing Arts, 999 Wilmot Road, Scarsdale AGES: 3-12 WHAT: See Jason Summers play more than 20 characters in this completely interactive, musical holiday one man show. WANT TO GO? $15; $10 students, seniors, and children 12 and younger. 914-630-0804. wstshows.com.
Disney’s ‘Beauty & the Beast’
WHEN: Dec. 21 - Jan. 13, 2019, see website for show times WHERE: White Plains Performing Arts Center, 11 City Place, White Plains AGES: 3 and older WHAT: Showcasing spectacular costumes and scenery, this show is based on the animated feature. WANT TO GO? $24 and up. 914-328-1600. wppac.com.
All Aboard with Thomas & Friends
WHEN: Dec. 29 - Jan. 21, 2019, see website for select days and times WHERE: The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Join Thomas and Driver Sam on a fun-filled, sing-along, mini-performance adventure. WANT TO GO? $23; $10 children ages 2-12; free for children younger than 2. 718-817-8700. nybg.org.
‘Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle’
WHEN: Through Dec. 9: Tuesday-Sunday, 7:30pm WHERE: Lyndhurst Mansion, 635 S. Broadway, Tarrytown AGES: 5 and older WHAT: Together with the famous detectives, you’ll move through the Carriage House and Mansion to uncover secrets of the case. WANT TO GO? $40; $35 seniors and children 16 and younger. 914-6314481. lyndhurst.org.
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
Coming up next month: JAN. 19, 2019: Pete the Cat at Emelin Theatre, Mamaroneck JAN. 25-26, 2019: Bye, Bye Birdie at Irvington Town Hall Theatre, Irvington JAN. 26, 2019: The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favorites at The Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown
things to do
HOLIDAY JOYS for Girls & Boys Compiled by Anja Webb
Happy Holidays! Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Christmas, or just enjoying a cozy winter with your loved ones, December is certainly the most wonderful time of the year! Spend some time outside at an ice-skating rink (or inside, too!) and grab a delicious hot cocoa afterward to warm up from the chilly weather. Head out of town to hand cut your Christmas tree. And if the frost and snow of a winter day doesn’t make your heart sing, check out one of our favorite indoor play spaces to beat cabin fever without freezing.
BEST HOT COCOA SPOTS Chocolations
607 E. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck 914-777-3600; chocolations.com Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday, 4pm Sample the multiple frozen hot chocolates, featuring flavors such as peanut butter, mint, caramel, and coffee. The shop also carries regular hot chocolate and coffee, many tea varieties, and a decadent, thick, dark hot chocolate that is sure to be a parent’s delight. Find more>> nymetroparents.com/hot-chocolate
CUT-YOUR-OWN CHRISTMAS TREE Stuart’s Farm
62 Granite Springs Road, Granite Springs 914-245-2784; stuartsfarm.com Hours: Open Nov. 23 through Christmas Eve, Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm Handsaws and baling available. Wreaths, garland, and roping for sale. Bakery is open with hot and cold cider, fruit pies, fresh apple cider doughnuts, jams, and jellies. Leashed dogs welcome. Cash or check only. Find more>> nymetroparents.com/christmas-tree
ICE-SKATING Hommocks Park Ice Rink
33 Lecount Place, New Rochelle 914-740-8272; skyzone.com/newrochelle Come in for open jump every day and reserve a 1- or 2-hour time slot with access to jump into the Foam Zone and games such as Ultimate Dodge Ball, Sky Slam, and Sky Joust. See website for times.
140 Hommocks Road, Larchmont 914-834-1069; hommocksicerink.org Hours: Through March 29, 2019: Monday, 12:30-2:30pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 1-5:15pm; Friday, 1-5:15pm and 7:309:30pm; Saturday, 1-5:15pm; Sunday, 11am-4pm (during November and March, the Saturday Public Sessions end at 4pm). See website for special holiday weekday schedule. Price: $9; $8 children younger than 11; $7 seniors. $4.50 skate rental. Discount with resident ID card (and Discount Cards for 12 sessions) and season passes available.
Find more>> nymetroparents.com/indoor-play-spaces
Find more>> nymetroparents.com/ice-skating
INDOOR PLAYSPACES Sky Zone Trampoline Park
family life home
13 Ways to Stay Safe This Holiday Season
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but the holidays are also fraught with potential home safety hazards. Read on as we help you keep your entire family safe this season. By Lambeth Hochwald ’
is the season to be jolly for sure. But the holidays are also the time of year when things get so hectic that household accidents can easily occur. Whether it’s a Christmas tree that topples over or a bubbling pot of mulled cider that splatters, it’s important to be aware of the biggest potential safety hazards around the house during the holidays, when you may be more focused on stringing lights than the toddler getting tangled in the electrical cord. Here are the 13 most important things you can do to stay safe this holiday season. Practice smart Christmas tree set-up. Once you’ve hauled your tree into your home, make sure to place it in a sturdy, appropriately sized stand. You need to take this crucial step to ensure it doesn’t become a tipping hazard, says Debra Holtzman, a nationally recognized child safety and health expert and the author of The Safe Baby. “To prevent your tree from tipping over, securely anchor it or put a safety gate around it,” she says. In addition, place your tree away from the busiest trafficked areas in your home. “Always place it out of the doorways, exits, and heat sources,” she says. Stay on top of family members’ tree allergies. Some live Christmas trees, including cedars, can cause asthma, allergies, and an itchy skin rash because they can be filled with mold spores and allergens, says Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and founder of RTK Environmental, a mold testing and mold inspec-
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
tion company in New York City. In addition, the needles on pine, spruce, and fir trees are a definite choking hazard. How do you know if a family member may be allergic? “Rashes can be a sign of mold allergy or sensitivity,” Weitz says. “Other symptoms can include headaches, fatigue, throat and eye irritations, wheezing, and many respiratory problems including asthma.” If your child suffers from allergies or asthma consider purchasing a fake tree. Be choosy about artificial trees. Many are manufactured in China and made from two items: PVC, a petroleum-based plastic, and lead, used to stabilize PVC. “The lead in the ‘greens’ breaks down into lead dust, which is released into the air, poisoning everyone, but especially children younger than six,” Weitz says. “To protect your children from lead poisoning, be sure to buy a tree that’s made in the USA.” Tip: If you’re going the artificial tree route, also make sure it’s labeled “fire resistant,” Holtzman says. Decorate safely. Only purchase décor that is made of non-combustible or flame-retardant materials, Holtzman advises. “If you have small children, avoid decorations that are sharp, breakable, weighted, or have small movable parts,” she says, “and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.” Some decorations may contain lead, cadmium (a toxic metal), or other toxic materials that can be harmful to young children, so it’s best to stow all holiday decorations out of reach. Tip: There’s an easy way to iden-
tify objects that are too small for your child. “If the object itself or a detachable part fits through an empty toilet paper roll, it is unsafe and should be kept away from children under the age of three years and from any child who still puts objects in her mouth,” Holtzman says. Assess your plants. There’s nothing like filling your home with cheery seasonal plants such as mistletoe, holly, Christmas rose, and Jerusalem cherry. However, these are all quite poisonous. “Be sure to keep these plants (and all plants) out of the reach of small children,” Holtzman says. Also, while those ubiquitous Christmastime poinsettias were once blamed for a death about a century ago, recent studies indicate they’re not as toxic as was thought at that time, Holtzman says. However, they may cause some gastric irritation and burning in the mouth if the leaves are ingested, so make sure your little ones stay away from them. Important tip: If you suspect your child has ingested a poisonous plant, call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 ASAP. Skip the candles. While they add wonderful atmosphere to a holiday celebration, avoid them, Holtzman says. “Consider using electric or battery-operated flameless candles instead,” she says. If you just can’t quit the candles, keep them on a stable, heat-resistant surface in sight where kids and pets cannot reach them or knock them over. “And always make sure you extinguish them when you leave the room or home or go to sleep, and never use lit candles to decorate the tree,” Holtzman adds. Use caution with electric lights. This means using only lights that have been tested for safety by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories. “And make sure to check outdoor lights for labels showing that the lights have been certified for outdoor use, and only plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter-protected receptacle or to a portable GFCI,” Holtzman says. “To be safe always read the manufacturer’s instructions for the maximum number of light strands to connect. Replace any strand [that has] a frayed cord or loose bulb connections.” Practice fireplace safety. Once a year you should hire a professional chimney sweep to prevent build-up and potential fire hazards in your fireplace, Holtzman says. “In addition, be sure to put a safety gate in the doorway to the room with a fireplace or install a hearth gate around the area,” she adds. Never leave your fire unattended. “Extinguish the fire fully before leaving the house or going to bed and allow the ashes to cool before removing them,” she says. Ashes should be disposed of in a tightly covered metal container and placed outdoors, at least 10 feet from the home and any other nearby buildings. “Never empty the ash directly into a trash can,” Holtzman says. “Always douse and saturate the ashes with water.” Take precautions with button batteries. You know those small, shiny batteries that are found in flashing holiday jewelry or holiday decorations? They’re a severe choking hazard. “When swallowed, a coin-sized lithium battery can lodge in the throat of a child,” Holtzman says. “Saliva then triggers an electrical current, causing a chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus in as little as two hours. The chemicals in the battery can also cause serious harm to a child if the battery is inserted into the ear or nose.” Your best bet: Corral any item that contains lithium batteries including your remote controls, toys, singing greeting cards, digital thermometers, flameless candles, calculators, key fobs, watches, flashing holiday jewelry, or decorations. “Know which items and devices in your home have button batteries,” Holtzman says. “Children love to pick up gadgets, play with them, and take them apart. Duct tape battery compartments if they do not have a screw to secure them closed, and keep these objects out of the sight and reach of small children.”
Keep alcohol out of reach. That bowl of spiked holiday punch and those cups of leftover drinks (including the ice cubes in them) that may be strewn around the house should be kept out of reach of children at all times. Ditto for the eggnog. “Alcohol affects children more drastically than adults, so even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous,” Holtzman says. “Remove all empty and partially empty cups as soon as possible.” Plan menus around guests’ allergies. The holidays are a wonderful time for friends and family to get together, but a celebration can go seriously awry if any guests have allergies to the foods you are serving or the ones that are being brought to a potluck. Send around a list of foods you plan to serve to your guests before they arrive at your house so you’re sure to keep your visitors safe. Place choking-hazard treats out of reach. For many families, holiday parties are best known for featuring delicious homemade Chex mix and bowls of mixed nuts. “Those are exactly the types of foods you should keep out of the reach of young children,” Holtzman says. “Any firm round foods such as popcorn, nuts, and candy canes should be kept as far away from children as possible because they pose a choking risk.” Create an no-kid zone. If you’re planning to serve food from your stovetop, whether it’s a bowl of chili, stew, or other cold-weather goodies, make your kitchen a no-kid zone, Holtzman says. Consider this a safe way to make sure your cuties don’t get splashed, burned, or injured while you’re cooking. Lambeth Hochwald is a New York City-based journalist covering trends, relationships, and life in New York City.
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raising kids baby
The Pros and Cons of Elf on the Shelf ›› The little guy has sparked some big controversy! Which side of the shelf are you on? By Anja Webb
appy holidays! Many of you who celebrate Christmas have already unpacked your Elf on the Shelf and begun plotting the hijinks your little guy will get into for the ’gram. But is Elf on the Shelf really for everyone? While he’s loved by many, there are those who find the steelyeyed sprite manipulative or even—dare we say?—creepy. Let’s take a moment to think about the pros and cons of Santa’s little spy.
A Cute and Cherished Tradition
Now don’t get us wrong: We can see the value in creating a holiday tradition for your household. And, of course, we’ve all seen the pictures on social media of the little cuties bathing in marshmallow baths, sleeping in tissue boxes, and playing mini games of Twister with My Little Pony. A lot of families think their elf adds that extra dash of Christmas magic to their holiday season. “My kids absolutely love it! It’s such a fun experience for them in preparation for Christmas,” says Antoinette McCune, a mother of three. “It’s also a fun, and sometimes stressful, game for us as parents to try and think of new ways to hide our little elf.” And let’s not forget that the elf encourages kids to be on their best behavior during the month of December, which can certainly make parenting a little bit easier. “My son loves it! It works to remind him that Santa is watching if he is being good,” says Frank Martinez, a father of two. After all, a big part of the Santa lore is that ‘he sees you when you’re sleeping,’ whether that be through good old-fashioned omniscience or a scout elf.
But not everyone seems to agree that the elf is adorable. “I was a nanny for a nine-year-old boy who loved his Elf on the Shelf, but 36
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
his parents misplaced it. The parents didn’t think anything of it, but every day after school he would come home and search the whole house for his elf. After seeing it wasn’t there, he assumed he was disliked by the elf,” says Sadie Sparks. “Trying to instill positive morals on a child by tricking them also seems very counterproductive to society.” Though it may seem a bit harsh, others also feel it’s selfinterested for parents to use the Elf to teach morals. And, they add, it’s an approach that may backfire: The concept of being constantly under surveillance could scare the child or teach him that he should only behave when there is some tangible benefit to him, like getting presents. “It really depends on the level of trust in the parent-child relationship. I definitely valued my privacy and my mom respected it to a degree,” says Brandon Klemm, a chef and pizza maker who grew up with the elf. “I don’t know how I feel about kids being afraid of being themselves because they believe they’re being watched at all times.” Now, that’s not entirely the Elf ’s fault; as previously mentioned, legend has it that Santa’s constantly watching kids. But something about having that abstract concept materialized and in the home doesn’t quite sit well with everyone.
A Less Invasive Elf
So what can we parents do if we still want a snazzy little add-on to our holiday celebrations, but one that doesn’t instill in our child a fear of being watched at all times? Well, we could try repurposing our Elf on the Shelf. “I had an alternate version in my house growing up. It was called the Kindness Elf and my mom did a pretty good job of
making it a positive thing,” says Lauren Farrell, a student at New York University. “It was generally kept in public spaces within the house and every day I had to find the elf and it was always holding a different card that challenged me to do something kind for someone that day.”
If the elf doesn’t quite match your aesthetic (even though felt is so in right now) you can always give Reindeer in Here a chance: It’s a plush toy children are meant to bond with during the month of December. It’s similar to the elf, except children can touch and play with it, and its purpose is to listen to what the child really wants for Christmas and then inform Santa. “It’s not about watching a child, or intimidating a child,” says Adam Reed, an author, television producer, and creator of Reindeer in Here. “It’s about empowering and creating a positive Christmas tradition that families can look back to.” Reindeer in Here is also designed with one antler shorter than the other and has a companion book that features a cast of sidekicks with visible differences, such as a cross-eyed penguin and a polar bear with a bit of a bald patch. “The true message is being different is normal, not being different is special,” Reed says. “This book is about getting to the heart of why each child is unique and different and finding what their true Christmas wishes are.”
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Make Room for a Mensch
But let’s not forget that the holiday season is more than just Christmas. For all you guys and gals who celebrate Hanukkah, there’s a Mensch on the Bench—a Jewish man sitting on a bench—just for you. “It’s tough to be Jewish during the month of December. There’s Christmas music on every radio, and there’s decorations up, and all your friends have trees. You’re already feeling a little left out, and then Elf on the Shelf comes along and now we’re seeing that on social media as well,” says Neal Hoffman, creator of Mensch on a Bench. “There was an opportunity for what would be a Jewish alternative.” Enter the Mensch (which translated literally means a person of integrity and honor). It’s a plush toy that watches over the menorah at night and encourages more family time and engagement with pre-existing Hanukkah traditions such as playing dreidel and eating latkes (potato pancakes) and gelt (chocolate coins). The Mensch also places an emphasis on charity and doing good, as the name would imply. “Mensches encourage kids to do one good deed,” Hoffman says. “One of the rules for having a mensch is that on one night of Hanukkah you give presents to someone in need rather than get presents yourself.”
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Whether you love your elf (or mensch) or wish it would just stop staring at you, here’s to a happy and wholesome holiday season with your family.
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family life finances
How to Save Money on Holiday Shopping
You don’t have to go into debt to buy great gifts for everyone on your list! These tips will help you stick to your budget while snagging real bargains. By Denise Porretto
t’s that time of year again, when gifts and toys are delivered free of charge to your living room, pre-wrapped and labeled, making every family member’s dreams come true. All you need to do is leave out a few cookies. If only it were so. In reality, holiday prep plays out more like this: You overpay for the popular toys your kids want. Giftwrap is surprisingly expensive— newspaper, anyone? In exasperation, you eat all the cookies. Holiday shopping is difficult, but don’t lose hope. There are plenty of ways to save money. We’ve spoken to some experts who know just how you can control your seasonal spending; read on for their smart advice.
each name and stick to it!” says Rachel Cruze, New York Times best-selling co-author, with her dad Dave Ramsey, of Smart Money Smart Kids. Download a free budgeting app such as EveryDollar, which has interactive visuals and goal-planning features. Another handy app, one for your phone, is Santa’s Bag. It includes holiday-specific features such as the ability to import receipts, plan budgets, create shopping lists, locate gifts, and track shopping progress.
Locate any unused gift cards you have. You can spend them to buy holiday gifts, food, and décor, or sell them at a gift card exchange site such as Cardpool.com or Raise.com for some ready cash. (If you’re looking for gift cards, you can also purchase them on these sites at a percentage off face value.)
Create a list and a budget. “As you write down the names of everyone that you have to buy for, put a dollar amount next to
Sign up for cash-back sites that give you a rebate—typically 2-5 percent—on just about anything you buy online. Popular sites include Ebates.com, Shopathome.com, Mrrebates.com, and TopCashback.com. They work very simply: You go to the
Before you set foot in a brick-and-mortar store or click the “purchase” button, do the following:
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
cash-back site and locate the store you want to shop. Then you purchase your desired item to earn your rebate, which can be paid to you in a variety of ways. Ebates, for example, will send you your accumulated rebate every quarter in the form of a check, a PayPal deposit, or, in some instances, as a digital gift card. Collect coupons. Many consumers think coupons are relics from the past. Not so; they’ve just gone digital. So put down those scissors and go online. Some well-trafficked coupon sites include Coupons.com, TheKrazyCouponLady.com, RetailMeNot.com, and CouponSherpa. com. Most of the sites offer coupons that can be used in a physical or digital store. Additionally, Honey is a browser extension that will automatically apply all coupon codes available to find the one that will save you the most money at select online retailers. Sign up with online stores, “like” their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter, so you can be alerted to upcoming sales and promotions. You may end up getting an enormous amount of emails, but if you’re patient enough you may find what you’re looking for at a great price, and sometimes with free shipping too.
While You’re Shopping
Now that you’ve planned and are ready to stock up on gifts, remember to: Track the rise and fall of prices. It’s difficult to pin down an item’s price during the hectic holidays; even Amazon changes the prices of individual items frequently. The site CamelCamelCamel.com is designed for shopping on Amazon—it generates alerts based on price and availability, so you can be notified when the price for a desired item drops to a predetermined point. In addition, the site has price history charts for more than 18 million Amazon items. Be cyber-cart smart. One way you can potentially score coupons to an online store is by providing your email address and adding merchandise to your cart—and then abandoning it. This may trigger an automated coupon to be delivered to your inbox. You may have been willing to purchase the items at full price, but by waiting a couple of days, you can buy your merchandise at 10-20 percent off. Harness the power of price-matching apps. Whether you’re shopping online or at the mall, you can use a price-matching app to compare prices. The Flipp app brings up flyers from other stores, so you can easily determine where to find the best bargains. If the app shows a better price for an item at another store, you can show the cashier proof. (Many big box stores will match a lower price for the same item.) With Earny, your credit card and email link to the app so your past purchases can be tracked. If you’re eligible for a price adjustment you can get the money back automatically. Finally, InvisibleHand is a browser extension that notifies you if the product you’re shopping for is available for less from another retailer. A convenient button links you to the relevant page on the competing website. Come to stores prepared to crunch numbers. If you’re headed to a brick-and-mortar shop, have a calculator available so you can figure out the exact price of an item, including any discounts and sales tax. (You may lose the ability to do calculations in your head when you’re tired and the store is crowded). Bring cold, hard cash. “You actually spend less when you use cash,” Cruze explains. “Cash is emotional. You feel it when you
pay with tangible currency. You don’t get that same sensation when you swipe a piece of plastic. Also, you’ll be less anxious when you use cash because you know to stop spending when the money runs out. Even if you can’t buy everything you want, you’ll still feel relieved about not having to make a payment in the new year!” Shop on Black Friday—or not. If you’re convinced that Black Friday offers the best deals, then head to the mall in the wee hours. Indeed, Black Friday does have incomparable sales, such as classic toys at 40-50 percent off. If you’d rather bypass the chaos, however, venture out later in the day. “All the heavily promoted items will probably be gone, but you can still find pretty good deals while avoiding the crazy crowds that pile in when the doors open,” Cruze says. Set your sights on Cyber Monday, which is the Black Friday of the Internet. You can find a lot of good deals without having to camp out in a parking lot all night, Cruze says. In addition to shopping the sales at online stores, you may want to browse eBay. The reason? Some shoppers hit the stores on Black Friday to purchase popular items at rock-bottom prices and then sell them for a profit on eBay. So with a bit of luck, you may be able to pick up that gift at only a small premium over its Black Friday price. Don’t overlook off-peak shopping times. After the big sale days are over, try either shopping online on Tuesdays, as cyber retailers tend to offer their best deals on that day, or at brick-and-mortar stores in the evenings. Some retailers may have the next day’s early-morning sales already in effect, saving you from having to rise at the crack of dawn. Look for last-minute steals. For all the procrastinators out there, you may even do well shopping late in the season. Some of the best deals arrive the week before Christmas, according to the New York Times. Outsmart the shopping environment. Sure, you love stores’ holiday music and ambience—but they’re up to no good. Studies have shown that Christmas songs evoke nostalgia and generosity, leading to larger purchases, explains Mari Corella, a retail specialist who has worked for major retailers such as Sears and Saks Fifth Avenue. The same is true of scent. “During the holidays, stores often smell of gingerbread and pine, invoking a sense of warmth,” she says, leading to—yep—more spending. Some experts recommend wearing headphones with soothing music playing to calm you during the stress of shopping. (Can you guess what stress leads to?) Even the placement of products is designed to make you spend more. Brands pay to have their items on the end of the aisles or at eye level, Corella shares: “The cost of this additional exposure is added to the cost of the product.” She recommends browsing the entire section to make sure you’re getting the best price. Think out of the (gift) box. Not everything you buy has to be expensive or from a popular retailer. Consider shopping at thrift shops for vintage items, or gathering the family together to make DIY gifts, such as personalized stationery for the grandparents. Something handmade, and from the heart, is priceless—in every sense of the word. Denise Porretto is a freelance writer living in Princeton, NJ.
raising kids teen
Experts suggest teens volunteer to get involved with the community and broaden their view of the world around them.
How to Raise A World-Aware Teen ›› Your child’s now old enough to grasp global issues—and to change the planet for the better, too. By Allison Ingrum
very few minutes our phones light up with the latest news alert. From social issues to politics, there seems to be a constant flow of news cycling from around the globe. Being world-aware means understanding these issues and educating yourself about what is going on outside of yourself, your home, and your immediate neighborhood. For your teen, it also means realizing there is a world outside the latest video game or most recent post on Instagram. It isn’t always easy for your child to look beyond the bubble he exists in, though. A variety of things, from the technology that surrounds him to your own protective parenting style, can make it difficult. But with a little guidance from you, your teen can get on track to becoming a global citizen. It will benefit him, and the whole world, in the long run.
Big Kids, Big Ideas
We constantly hear that children are most likely to take risks when they’re in their teens. Sure, this can lead to accidents. But their risk-taking can also be a positive thing, putting them on the path to innovation, says Teodora Pavkovic, a parenting coach with a master’s degree in clinical psychology. The teenage years are the “most creative period of our lives,” Pavkovic says. “I think if we harness that teenage brain energy that they have, it can really make a big change for the world…[Teens] are just naturally very inquisitive, innovative. They have ideas all of the time. They want to try things out. I think they can probably help us figure things out more than we can do on our own.” The teenage years are also a time of self-exploration, and being world-aware aids a teen in figuring out her own identity, says 40
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
Sophie Stoyadinovich, M.D., a life coach at Nobel Coaching, an online coaching and tutoring platform. Your teen should have as much information as possible to see where her particular interests lie and what kinds of problems she may like to solve. In fact, being world-aware might completely alter her direction in life.
What’s Blocking Your Teen’s Worldview?
While it’s only natural to feel protective of your child, being a helicopter parent can cause more harm than good. “[Kids] could get so comfortable that they become fearful of doing anything outside of their comfort zone, or you will have the flip side when they become very rebellious at some point, and you don’t want either one,” Pavkovic says. Technology can act as the other main roadblock that keeps children from being world-aware, she adds. While our devices give us access to almost any information we may need, a passive use of technology (such as scrolling through social media) has the potential to draw people into themselves in a negative way, she explains. Along with this comes a lack of critical-thinking skills. “We take our view of the world from the media, from the news...and from the things that elicit the click response,” says Andrew Sachs, CEO of Nobel Coaching. “That is a… severely distorted version.” Instead, parents should teach children of all ages to have a critical eye toward the information they take in. “They will be on social media. They will read things and they will see things on TV. I think it is always good to keep that conversation going about what they think, why they think so, how accurate they think it is, and whether they have any other sources for that,” Stoyadinovich says.
Teaching Your Child to Think Global
While your child can grow up to be world-aware on his own, this is rarely the case. We humans have an instinctive tribal nature. While this tribalism served a great purpose when humans were pack animals, now it is simply a fear that holds us back from interacting with people and places that are different, Sachs explains. It takes a team of parents and teachers to coax a child into becoming more world-aware. Try these steps: Start simple. Talk about current events around the dinner table. These stress-free, no-pressure conversations foster an environment in which your child can speak her mind. Listen to what she is passionate about and try to incorporate that into the conversations. Pair your child with a pal from another place. When your teen tries to learn a language, connect her with a student in another country who speaks the language fluently. In the process of helping each other learn, they will hear about each other’s daily life. Even if it’s only an online call or chat, it is an immersive experience. Volunteer. It’s an easy yet effective way to get your child involved with the surrounding community, explains Zelda Warner, president of the Volunteer Referral Center. And it’s a two-way street: As your child helps someone, that person simultaneously impacts his life by opening his eyes and allowing him to see the world through a new lens. He will learn to appreciate those differences, and also see how lucky he is to live the life he leads. Travel. If you can, take a family vacation to another country or give your child the opportunity to participate in a studentexchange program. And do so as soon as you are able; the sooner you travel, the earlier your child’s brain begins to expand, Sachs says. “They are able to see the world for what it is, and they are not constrained by the little bubble. A lot of us exist in a bubble,” he explains. “Having that kind of opportunity to connect with real people I think can drastically change your view on the countries they are from and the rest of the world.” Likewise, even short cruises or camps expose children to others from around the country, or possibly the world, who will share experiences and stories. Dan Appleman, author of Developing Teen Leadership, suggests enrolling your child in a summer camp outside of her comfort zone. Send an athlete to theater camp or a
musician to art camp. Send your teen to an overnight camp farther from home. These small changes will allow your child to meet peers with different backgrounds and experiences. Take a cultural field trip to NYC. Not up for international travel right now? You don’t have to venture far from home to help your child become more world-aware. Luckily, here in the New York area, we have the luxury of being surrounded by many different cultures and people from diverse backgrounds. A train ride will take you to Chinatown with Little Italy one block away. Talk to your child about these cultures and eat at authentic restaurants. You can also take him to one of the many museums around New York. No matter what you do, this engaging experience will ignite his brain and get him thinking outside of his home. Model world-aware behaviors. Ultimately, remember your children are both mirrors and sponges, Pavkovic says—they reflect your behavior and absorb lessons from your actions. Whether you want your kids to use technology less, spend more time outdoors, or speak more kindly, you must do the same. Appleman seconds this sentiment, recalling parents he knows who bring their children to protests. “Have them be world-aware and have them involved in your life. Yes, there are other things one can do in providing guidance, but there is nothing like setting an example,” he says. This being said, “we need to take into account that the older your child is, the less they are under your influence. If they are seven, yes, obviously you are their greatest role model and you are the best,” Stoyadinovich says. “But as they grow older, their peers become that for them…Your direct influence, I think, at that point gets a little bit smaller and you need to lean more toward consulting with them and providing them with opportunities rather than instructing them and pushing them to do something.” Look at what the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have done in Parkland, FL to raise awareness of gun violence. When one teen is world-aware and a leader, others will follow. In that case, millions from all over the world already have. At this rate, worldaware teens will be the ones to create a world-aware society. Allison Ingrum, a former NYMP editorial intern, is a junior at Syracuse University.
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PARTY PLACES A-GAME SPORTS
856 Main St., New Rochelle 914-278-9477 agamesports.net email@example.com A-Game Sports offers a variety of birthday party packages for children of all ages. Each 90-minute party includes supervised playtime with two coaches on a private section of turf.
ARTISTREE PERFORMING ARTS
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.
DAVE’S CAST OF CHARACTERS
914-235-7100 davescast.com Make your party a special one! Dave’s entertainment services include more than 100 costumed characters. From princesses and super heroes to pirates and tea parties, there’s something for everyone.
BIRTHDAY GIFTS AFFORDABLES
A quality children’s consignment store 10 Main St., Dobbs Ferry 914-627-9462 affordablechild.com We are a quality consignment store, offering children’s clothing, maternity clothes, baby equipment, and toys. A great place to shop for a birthday gift!
4 Martine Ave., White Plains free parking at the Seasons garage 914-358-1460 girlagain.com firstname.lastname@example.org Girl AGain is a resale boutique for gently used American Girl dolls and books which make great birthday gifts!
‘TILLY...A DEER’S TALE’
914-764-5564 tillyadeerstale.com Tilly...A Deer’s Tale is about a real deer that lives in upstate New York and faces challenges after an accident. This powerful story is meant to inspire children living with physical challenges or limitations. The book makes a great birthday gift!
Your local guide to entertainers, party places, activities, and other resources.
114 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck 914-835-2200 artistreearts.com email@example.com Artistree Performing Arts creates amazing birthday parties for children ages 1-12. Have your party in our beautifully renovated studio or let us come to you with just the entertainment.
BACH TO ROCK MAMARONECK
130 Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck 914-341-1457 mamaroneck.b2rmusic.com firstname.lastname@example.org Looking for a fun birthday party at a reasonable price? We have three different parties: Rock Star, Karaoke, or Rock City, for an unforgettable experience!
BRONX ZOO TREETOP ADVENTURE
Bronx River Parkway at Boston Road 347-308-9021 bronxzootreetop.com email@example.com Celebrate your special occasion with an outdoor aerial adventure. Climb, balance, swing, and zip through the trees on a variety of unique elements like ropes, bridges, and spider webs. Choose from a variety of party packages designed for all abilities.
CENTRAL PARK DANCE
450 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale 914-723-2940 centralparkdance.com firstname.lastname@example.org Have the birthday party of your dreams! Choose from Fairytale Ballet, Hip-hop, and Fun-n-Fit party games. We provide a beautifully decorated studio, a separate space to serve food, paper goods, and an experienced, professional staff.
CHELSEA PIERS CONNECTICUT
One Blachley Road, Stamford, CT 203-989-1100 chelseapiersct.com/birthday email@example.com Birthday parties at Chelsea Piers are action-packed! Options include gymnastics, dance, basketball, volleyball, soccer, T-ball, ice-skating, ninja warrior, gaga, and water slides! New inflatable obstacle course and bounce house party option!
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
CREATIVE CORNER OF LARCHMONT
7 Addison St., Larchmont 914-833-2880 creativecornerlarchmont.com firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Corner is the perfect place to celebrate a birthday! Art party options include wood toys, treasure boxes, canvas bags, ceramic piggy banks, and canvas paintings. We will help every step of the way.
DANCE CAVISE STUDIOS
273 Halstead Ave., Mamaroneck 914-381-5222 dancecavise.com email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Be our guest at a Dance Cavise birthday party where your child and friends will feel like stars. The birthday “star” and friends will dance, sing, and play, under the supervision of trained instructors.
FUNFUZION AT NEW ROC CITY
29 LeCount Place (Exit 16 off I-95), New Rochelle Party Central: 914-637-7575, option 1 funfuziononline.com Calling all birthday superstars! You and your guests will be dazzled by a unique, interactive party experience!
GREAT PLAY OF SCARSDALE
Interactive Gym for Kids 969B Central Park Ave., Scarsdale 914-713-3470 greatplay.com/scarsdale Our award-winning, high-energy parties are spectacular events in our amazing Interactive Gym™. We customize each party based on your child’s interests, using some of our most popular Great Play games.
GYMCATS GYMNASTICS AND BIRTHDAY PARTY CENTER Alyssa Fay, gymnastics and birthday party director 1 Odell Plaza at Equalize Fitness, Yonkers 914-965-7676 gymcats.net We are famous for our unique private birthday parties. Our enthusiastic, interactive staff will have partygoers laughing and yelling as they swing on rings, jump, bounce, climb, and roll through our super obstacle course.
HOMMOCKS PARK ICE RINK
Boston Post Road and Weaver Street, Larchmont 914-834-1069 hommocksparkicerink.org Have your birthday party on ice! Host your next special party at the coolest place in town, Mamaroneck’s popular enclosed Hommocks Park Ice Skating Rink.
Annie Pipia and Joann Distler, directors 151 Crotona Ave., Harrison 914-835-0010 isggymnastics.com ISG is a fun-filled, unique way to celebrate a birthday complete with a trampoline, balance beams, bars, a vault, tumbling, and an air castle. All ages, 1 through teens. Age-appropriate program and equipment. Fun for all!
25 Hubbels Drive, Mount Kisco 914-244-8811 244 E. 84th St., Manhattan 212-772-7633 jodisgym.com Kids run, jump, climb, tumble, slide, bounce, and giggle to their hearts’ delight at Jodi’s Gym, where action-packed parties and unmatched experience have won children’s hearts for 34 years.
29 Elm St., Tuckahoe 914-346-5148 lilchameleon.com Come party with Lil Chameleon! Book our Silver or Gold Package and choose from truly unique experiences in our bright and stylish space.
THE LITTLE GYM
777 White Plains Road, Scarsdale 914-722-0072 tlgscarsdaleny.com 2121 Broadway, 2nd Floor (between 74th and 75th streets) Upper West Side, Manhattan 212-799-1225 tlgupperwestsideny.com 207 E. 94th St. (between Second and Third avenues) Upper East Side, Manhattan 212-787-1124 tlguppereastsideny.com 28 Franklin Turnpike, Waldwick, NJ 201-445-4444 tlgwaldwicknj.com A private party at The Little Gym is a perfect way to celebrate your child’s next birthday. Gymnastics, games, obstacle courses, trampoline, sports, and music are tailored to your child’s interests!
23 Waterfront Place, Port Chester 1-844-MSQUASH (677-8274) msquash.com email@example.com Join us for a fun-filled birthday party, with interactive sports games and happy faces as we learn about emotions in a fun, cool way!
167 Scarsdale Road, Tuckahoe 914-771-7000 musicalmunchkins.com Musical Munchkins is the perfect birthday party activity for babies through age 5! Enjoy group drumming, funny favorite sing-along songs, and fabulous dancing scarves!
THE PLAY GROUP THEATRE
1 N. Broadway, Suite 111, White Plains 914-946-4433 playgroup.org firstname.lastname@example.org The Play Group Theatre® (PGT) is Westchester’s theater for children and teens. PGT shows make ideal birthday parties for a variety of ages. Enjoy the show, followed by a backstage tour.
PINE BROOK FITNESS
130 Rhodes St., New Rochelle 914-636-1019 pinebrookfitness.com Pine Brook Fitness, awarded as Westchester’s Best Multi-Sport Family Fitness Facility, provides a fitness experience for you and your family and an exciting venue for birthday parties.
Good Beginnings Never End...
Celebrating 40 Years of Excellence
The Milestone School
Pre-School Kindergarten Primary Grades 1 – 4 Early Phonics Program Diaper Friendly Programs EXTENDED DAY 7:30am – 6:00pm Flexible Scheduling Conveniently located across from the Fleetwood Station (Harlem Line) in Mt. Vernon
The Milestone School 70 West Broad St, Mt. Vernon 914-667-3478 themilestoneschool.com Chartered by NYS Board of Regents
380 Saw Mill River Road, Elmsford 914-592-2111 x2 sportimeusa.com Birthday parties? That’s our specialty! Celebrate your birthday at Sportime USA, the coolest place to have a party in Westchester.
STEFFI NOSSEN SCHOOL OF DANCE
216 Central Park Ave., White Plains 914-328-1900 Church of St. Mary the Virgin, 191 S. Greeley Ave., Chappaqua steffinossen.org Dance birthday parties arranged at our studio or your home, based on your child’s special interests and theme ideas!
STUDIO B DANCE CENTER
277 White Plains Road (entrance on Prospect Avenue), Eastchester 914-793-2799 studiobdance.com Each party at Studio B is uniquely designed to give the birthday child an exciting, personalized experience. Boys and girls ages 2 and older enjoy dancing and playing games to their favorite music.
WESTCHESTER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
100 Playland Parkway, Rye 914-421-5050 discoverwcm.org email@example.com Places to build, explore, and discover, the Westchester Children’s Museum is Westchester’s newest, most creative place for birthday parties! Have the museum’s exhibits, MakerSpace, and party room to yourself-our parties offer exclusive use of the museum space when the general public has gone home.
A Lavishly Illustrated Children’s Story of Friendship and Overcoming Obstacles
Tilly... A Deer’s Tale (BASED ON A TRUE STORY)
Follow the adventures of a rescued baby deer. Share Tilly’s courage and valiant recovery. Call 914-764-5564
to schedule a free Tilly Event for schools, libraries & hospitals Available at Barnes & Noble, Walden Books and at Amazon.com For books preview and sale, visit us at:
Health Care Professional
Caring for Kids Dr. Ivis Getz 140 Lockwood Ave., Suite 315, New Rochelle 914-355-2265 caringpediatricdentistry.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ivis Getz, a board-certified pediatric dentist, is committed to providing the highest quality dental care to infants, children, adolescents, and those with special needs. Dr. Getz recognizes that each child is a unique individual who deserves compassion and respect, which is evident in her friendly manner and calm demeanor. The dental team truly enjoys working with kids and will treat your child with warmth and compassion. The practice participates with many dental insurance plans and has convenient after-school and Saturday appointments available.
Your local guide to tutors, teachers, lawyers, financial planners, and other professionals FOSTER CARE & ADOPTION BERKSHIRE FARM CENTER AND SERVICES FOR YOUTH
Serving all of Westchester County 631-420-4444 berkshirefarm.org Berkshire Farm Center & Services for Youth helps children find safety and comfort in the homes of foster parents. Become a foster parent and give the gift of family!
LICE LICE CLINICS OF AMERICA -WESTCHESTER
9 Freight Way, Scarsdale 914-996-4315 liceclinicswestchester.com Lice Clinics of America will remove lice
in just one hour! All lice and eggs— even Super Lice—are eliminated in a single, one-hour treatment. Affordable treatments, no toxic chemicals.
TUTORS & TEST PREP EYE LEVEL
Eye Level of Rye Brook 27 Rye Ridge Plaza, Rye Brook 914-933-0566 Eye Level of Briarcliff 501 N. State Road, Briarcliff 914-741-0407 myeyelevel.com Math and English programs for ages 3-14. Whether the immediate goal is early learning, remedial education, or academic advancement, Eye Level is the answer.
Academic Enrichment and Educational Services a quality children’s consignment store • children’s clothing: (sizes 0-14) • maternity clothes: casual, business & dressy • baby equipment: cribs, strollers, high chairs, bouncers Lots of Toys, Books & Games
WINTER CLOTHING ARRIVING DAILY MOST MAJOR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED
Mon. thru Sat. 10-5 • Thurs. 10-6 • Closed Mondays in August & September 1st
10 main street • dobbs ferry • 914-693-3610
Family Owned & Operated Since 1973 Experienced Teachers
• Serving Children 2 months–14 years • Field Trips • Stimulating Environment • Flexible Schedules • Beautiful Campus Setting
www.annandandychildcare.com 914-592-3027 • 2170 Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford 44
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
70 Columbus Ave., Valhalla 914-328-1578 eastersealsny.org We serve children with and without disabilities in inclusive, integrated, small classrooms. We offer high-quality full- and part-time programs, school year and year-round, for children ages 18 months to 5 years, from 8:30am2:30pm. Before- and after-school care, vacation clubs during school breaks, and summer camp are available options. We follow the Creative Curriculum™ that is aligned with the NYS Common Core Learning Standards. We have special classes in art, music, and science, including interactive Smart Board activities. Our master teachers are New York state-certified in early childhood and special education. NAEYC accredited.
Starlight Starbright Music
78 Garth Road, Scarsdale 914-924-0995 slsbmusic.com email@example.com Did you know that all children are musical? Find out what you can do to nurture your child’s musical growth in our parent-child Music Together classes or new Spanish-immersion program, Canta y Baila Conmigo! Both types of class are for children ages
newborn through kindergarten with an adult caregiver. We also offer Music Together Babies for infants 6 months and younger, Uke U, a parent-child beginner ukulele class for ages 3-6, and Guitar for Grownups, for the caregivers of the children enrolled in Music Together. See you soon!
Sylvan Learning Centers - Westchester Sylvan Learning Center of Bronxville 850 Bronx River Road, Bronxville 914-237-4396 call or text sylvanlearning.com/bronxville firstname.lastname@example.org Sylvan Learning Center of White Plains 34 S. Broadway, White Plains 914-948-4116 sylvanlearning.com/whiteplains email@example.com Sylvan Learning, the leading provider of personal learning for kindergarten to 12th grade students, offers tutoring in reading, writing, math, study skills and test prep, and STEM classes in robotics and coding. Sylvan’s proven tutoring approach combines certified teachers delivering personalized instruction using curriculum aligned with common core standards, and the latest iPad® technology. Sylvan also offers Sylvan Prep SAT® and ACT® courses. Sylvan Learning Centers are conveniently located in Bronxville and White Plains.
raising kids ad index NYMetroParents.com features more than 20,000 businesses serving the NY metropolitan area! acrobatics / gymnastics
Easter Seals Project Explore ...... 15
Gym Cats Gymnastics ................ 48
Garden House School of
Caring for Kids Pediatric
ISGC Gym .................................. 48
Briarcliff ....................................... 27
Dentistry ..................................... 44
Jodi’s Gym - Westchester ........... 14
Gym Cats Gymnastics ................ 48
birthday / party services
Musical Munchkins .................... 20
Valley Pediatric Dentistry P.C. ... 25
Nurtury (The) ............................... 9
Yale New Haven Hosp - Greenwich
Pinebrook Studios ..................... 43
Hosp Cam .................................... 7
Andersons Larchmont ............... 12 Bach to Rock - Westchester ...... 19 FunFuzion................................... 15 Great Play - Scarsdale ............... 15 Gym Cats Gymnastics ................ 48 Hommocks Ice Rink ................... 29 ISGC Gym .................................. 48 Jodi’s Gym - Westchester ........... 14 Little Gym - Westchester ............ 47 Pinebrook Studios ..................... 43 Sophia’s of Greenwich................ 17 Sportime .................................... 20
Hommocks Ice Rink ................... 29
Play Group Theatre ................... 41 SENSE-sational FUN-damentals ...41 Sportime .................................... 20 Starlight Starbright Music .......... 35 Stefﬁ Nossen School of Dance ... 27 Studio B Dance........................... 11 Westchester Children’s Museum ...29
dance Central Park Dance ................... 15
Ophthalmology Management Services Inc. .............................. 29
music Bach to Rock - Westchester ...... 19 Musical Munchkins .................... 20 Starlight Starbright Music .......... 35
performing arts / acting Bach to Rock - Westchester ...... 19 Curtain Call Inc. ......................... 29
Stefﬁ Nossen School of Dance .. 27
Great Play - Scarsdale ............... 15
Studio B Dance........................... 11
Westchester Children’s Museum ...29
Affordables ................................ 44
Westchester Parent Party Planner ..45
SENSE-sational FUN-damentals ...41
Sportime USA, Inc ...................... 13 Toy Box ...................................... 11
Ann & Andy ................................. 44 Bach to Rock - Westchester ...... 19 Camp Ramaquois ...................... 13 Central Park Dance ................... 15 Curtain Call Inc. ......................... 29 Emelin Theatre .......................... 19 Great Play - Scarsdale ............... 15 ISGC Gym .................................. 48 Jodi’s Gym - Westchester ........... 14 Little Gym - Westchester ............ 47 Milestone School (The)............... 43 Oasis Children Services .............. 3 Pinebrook Studios ..................... 43 Play Group Theatre ................... 41 Soundview Preparatory School .. 14 Sportime .................................... 20 Stefﬁ Nossen School of Dance .. 27 Studio B Dance........................... 11 Thornton Donovan School ........... 5
Alcott Montessori ........................ 29 Blue Rock School ...................... 27 Garden House School of Briarcliff ........................................ 2 Milestone School (The)............... 43 Nurtury (The) ............................... 9 SENSE-sational FUN-damentals ...41 Soundview Preparatory School .. 14 Thornton Donovan School ........... 5
family entertainment / events / outings Andersons Larchmont ............... 12 ArtsRock of Rockland ................ 25 Emelin Theatre .......................... 19 FunFuzion................................... 15 Illusionists ................................... 27 Nutcracker Ballet ........................ 12 NYBG - Train Show .................... 13 Performing Arts Center Purchase
Andersons Larchmont ............... 12 Pedigree Ski Shop ..................... 37
100 + CHARACTERS, INTERACTIVE DJ’S FROZEN & NEW KIDS BAND ‘THE HONEY BEATS’ PHOTO BOOTHS NEW! ROBOTIC ANIMALS (ROBO ZOO) CARNIVALS INFLATABLES CHARACTER SHOWS FAIRYTALE PRINCESS PARTIES THEME PARTIES
Ridge Hill ..................................... 2 Sophia’s of Greenwich................ 17 Tilly...A Deer’s Tale ..................... 43 Toy Box ...................................... 11
special events ArtsRock of Rockland ................ 25
SHOWS & ATTRACTIONS
COMPLETE CARNIVAL & PARTY PLANNING
Harquin Creative Group ............. 25 Nutcracker Ballet ........................ 12 NYBG - Train Show .................... 13 Ridge Hill ..................................... 2 TMK Greenwich Reindeer Festival ....................................... 20
Want to know the best
activities for families?
special needs Easter Seals Project Explore ...... 15 Musical Munchkins .................... 20 SENSE-sational FUN-damentals ...41 Sportime USA, Inc ...................... 13 Valley Pediatric Dentistry P.C. ... 25
sports Hommocks Ice Rink ................... 29
child care / day care
College ...................................... 19
Ann & Andy ................................. 44
Ridge Hill ..................................... 2
Garden House School of
Sportime USA, Inc ...................... 13
Briarcliff .......................................... 27
TMK Greenwich Reindeer
Sportime .................................... 20
Nurtury (The) ............................... 9
Festival ....................................... 20 Westchester Children’s Museum .. 29
classes Alcott Montessori ........................ 29
Illusionists ................................... 27
Bach to Rock - Westchester ...... 19
Jodi’s Gym - Westchester ........... 14
Performing Arts Center Purchase
Central Park Dance ................... 15
Pinebrook Studios ..................... 43
College ...................................... 19
Curtain Call Inc. ......................... 29
Sportime .................................... 20
Play Group Theatre ................... 41
Pedigree Ski Shop ..................... 37 Pinebrook Studios ..................... 43
Emelin Theatre .......................... 19
Subscribe to our family activity
NYMETROPARENTS.COM/REGISTER WestchesterParent 45
raising kids parenting humor
How to Un-Fun the Holidays in 8 Easy Steps It’s easy to suck the joy right out of the holiday season, especially when you have kids—just follow this guide. If, by some chance, that’s not what you want to do, we have other recommendations for you! 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. After all, isn’t that what caring parents do? 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. 46
December 2018 | nymetroparents.com
By Deborah Skolnik
Instead: Remember to slow down and enjoy the season together. Take an evening to drive around and admire the holiday lights, or go skating one afternoon. Your child may remember those moments more than all the fancy presents that come his way. 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, by reading “13 Ways to Stay Safe This Holiday Season” on p. 34. 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.
NOW ENROLLING FOR WINTER/SPRING SEMESTER!
ISG GYMNASTICS GYMNASTICS BENEFITS YOUR CHILD’S • Skills to enhance other sports • Self Esteem • Coordination • Strength • Flexibility & More!
GYMNASTICS CLASSES Ages 2 & up Beginner – Advanced • Tumbling Preschool open gym for 5 & under
Gymnastics, Trampoline, Air Castle & More. All parties are private, and our
one to remember!
151 CROTONA AVE / HARRISON 914−835−0010 / ISGGYMNASTICS.COM Gymnastics Classes
Private Birthday Parties
• Air castles • Trampolines • Giant Slide • Obstacles Courses, & more
• Boys & Girls • Ages 20 months & up • Beginner-Advanced • Tumbling • Private Lessons
Ask About Our Toddler Open Gym Programs! A walk in, noninstructional playtime for crawlers to 4 year olds
your child’s skills to enhance other sports, self esteem, coordination, & more!
All of our famous parties are private!
One Odell Plaza, Yonkers/Hastings border
Located at River Parkway)
will make your child’s party a very special one.