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JULY 2012

New York

july 2012

Established 1986






2012 2013 new York famiLY

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The Ultimate Guide To Raising Kids in The City 15 GREATEST THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK CITY BY AGE 15 pg.14

JULY 2012

education pg. 100

museums pg.57

12 | EDITOR’S NOTE A Year’s Worth Of Good Ideas 14 | THE 15 GREATEST THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK CITY BY AGE 15 Plus, Some Really Good Alternatives! 18 | MARK YOUR CALENDARS! 12 Can’t-Miss Family-Friendly Events In The Year Ahead 20 | POP QUIZ FOR PARENTS! How Well Do You Know NYC? (Answers on page 85) 22 | CITY SAVERS Tutoring, Babysitting, Even Vacationing—There Are More Opportunities To Contain The Cost Of An NYC Childhood Than One Might Think 114 | THE LAST WORD Why Manhattan’s Broad Streets And Close Neighbors Give This City Mom’s Family Just The Right Amount Of Space

DIRECTORIES & SPECIAL SECTIONS 26 | CLASSES With New Venues And Programs All Over The City, The Choice Is Yours For What Class Best Suits Your Child 44 | BIRTHDAYS From World-Class Venues And Entertainers To Towering Cakes, The Big Apple Has All A Child Could Ask For When It Comes To Blowing Out Birthday Candles


New York Family | July 2012

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57 | MUSEUMS The City’s Diverse Museums Are Gearing Their Programs And Exhibits Toward Families—From Arts And Culture To Science And Technology 63 | THEATER & LIVE PERFORMANCE From Theaters Devoted To Children’s Plays To Broadway’s Biggest Acts, There’s Always A Show-Stopping Performance To Be Seen In Our Wonderful City 68 | ATTRACTIONS Our A-Z Guide To The City’s Most Notable And Memorable Experiences 73 | SHOPPING & STORES A Family Guide To The City’s Best Places To Buy Children’s Clothes, Shoes, Toys, Furnishings, Books & More 82 | PHOTOGRAPHERS With So Many Great Local Photographers, You Can Find The Right Style And Snapshot For Your Family

98 | TEN TIPS FOR RAISING TWINS IN THE CITY Priceless Advice From A Dynamic Mother Of Multiples 100 | EDUCATION With So Many Options In The City— Public, Private, Charter And Parochial— Parents Need To Do Their Research 106 | SPECIAL NEEDS Evaluations? Programs? Services? The Good News Is That There Are Lots of Local Services For Special Needs Children. The Bad News Is That There’s A Learning Curve For Parents 110 | REAL ESTATE What To Look For In A Building 112 | FOOD & DINING A Roster Of The “Best” Kid-Friendly Restaurants In NYC

86 | HEALTH & WELLNESS The City’s Top Hospitals, Doctors, Dentists, Nutritionists And Exercise Centers With A Focus On Parents And Kids 90 | CAMPS Whether They Are Going To Day Camp Or Sleepaway, Most Kids Have Some Trepidation The First Time. Here’s How You Can Bolster Their Readiness (And Yours Too) 93 | NEW & EXPECTANT PARENTS A Selective Guide To Everything For Bump And Baby

The Cover: Illustrations by Justin Winslow Illustration

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EdiTOr ANd CO-PUBLiSHEr Eric Messinger emessinger @ SENiOr EdiTOr Whitney Casser wcasser @ ASSOCiATE EdiTOr Christine Wei cwei @ ArT dirECTOr George W. Widmer gwidmer @ PrOdUCTiON MANAgEr Heather Mulcahey ASSiSTANT PrOdUCTiON MANAgEr Quarn Corley qcorley @

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editor’s note

A Year’s Worth Of Good Ideas For NYC Families At the end of May, I was out to dinner with my 12-year-old daughter and four of her friends to celebrate her birthday and I asked them what would be the top New York City activity they’d recommend to a kid who was visiting the city for the first time. They’d were united in their response: Statue Of Liberty? No. The Met? No. Broadway? Absolutely! At the time, I was thinking a lot about questions like these because I was in the throes of planning this issue. Even though their answer was not surprising, it was encouraging to hear their enthusiasm. By age 12, they seemed to appreciate how lucky they are to grow up with easy access to Broadway and the city’s other blockbuster attractions. I did not ask them the follow-up question on my mind because they had moved on to school gossip and other pressing issues. But what I wanted to know was what their recommendation would be if they had to steer a kid to an under-the-radar alternative to Broadway, to a more low-key experience that was special in its own way. This particular exercise was the basis of our lead-off story, “The 15 Greatest Things To Do In New York City By Age 15. (Plus, Some Really Good Alternatives),” on page 14. But it is also an apt metaphor for how our team at New York Family thought about this very special annual issue. If you’re going to call a publication an “Ultimate Guide,” you better deliver something really good. For us, that meant being comprehensive, but also surprising and selective. Broadway should be on childhood’s grand checklist. But you know what? This is New York City, and there are always interesting alternatives to explore as well. On that note, let me formally welcome you to the 2012-2013 edition of our Ultimate Guide To Raising Kids In The City. While I’d like to fancy that all our issues earn a place on your night table, this is the one issue I recommend as a long-term keeper, to use for information and inspiration until the next version comes out a year from now.     To earn our place in your home, we offer a resource guide that has more and better info and tips about the topic you care most about—your children—that any other local resource. Take a quick jaunt through these pages. Wherever you end up—be it in a directory-heavy section like our guide to children’s classes, or a more a personal and opinionated overview like our guide to kid-friendly restaurants—I‘m sure you’ll find stuff that is new and helpful to you, whether you’re a freshly minted parent or you’ve been at the parenting game for a while.  And while I hope you return to the magazine again and again in the course of the year when you want some help with planning a birthday party, or picking a museum to visit, or finding a place to buy nursery furniture and accessories, I also encourage you to enjoy a more leisured stroll through it as soon as you can, perhaps after your child has gone to sleep. Because then you’ll be able to look it over with some thought to the year ahead and how it may help you solidify some plans (like choosing a children’s class) and lead you to others (we have a great calendar of can’t-miss exhibits and events on page 18). You also might have some fun (see our “Pop Quiz For


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Parents: How Well Do You Know NYC?” on page 20), and maybe even feel some validation about one of the biggest choices you’ve made in your adult life: to raise your children here. As the editor, it would normally be my impulse to have that last word on that matter, except that one of our new writers, Tali Rosenblatt-Cohen, a Manhattan mom of three, did such a good job explaining her own parental satisfaction with the city that I happily steer you to her essay, “The Space We Need,” on page 114. I’m going to have my daughter, Elena, read it too. (We’ll see if she buys it.) Thank you so much for your interest in New York Family Magazine! My best wishes to you and your family in the year ahead, ERIC MESSINGER EDITOR

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THe 15 GReATeST THINGS To Do IN New York CitY CITy By Age 15 Plus, Some Really Good Alternatives! BY Eric MEssiNgEr I guess you could think of this as a list of greatest hits—the NYC places, institutions and experiences that offer children the biggest wows, the most fun and some truly impactful and inspiring learning moments. Of course, our children are so lucky to have all these things within a commuter’s reach. Hopefully, they’ll get to check off many of them over the course of their childhood. 1. Times Square/Broadway What is Times Square if not the grandest and gaudiest of all outdoor malls, with festive bursts of kid-heaven like the 16-story Hershey’s store, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, Toys“R”Us and Dave & Buster’s? Toss in a Broadway show like “Mary Poppins” or “The Lion King,” with great actors and dancers—and you’ll understand why a visit to Times Square/ Broadway is still one of childhood’s most magical days.

2. Central Park With the carousel, the zoo, picnicking, row boating, statue climbing, playgrounds galore, ice skating and simply walking around and enjoying the grand parade of humanity at its leisure, Central Park is our great green oasis of recreation and calm—and our best retort to questions about living in a city without a backyard.

[ The City Parks Foundation ] Under-The-Radar Alternative:

If you live in NYC with kids, you’ve probably been to a City Parks Foundation event. This organization is everywhere, hosting free events like sports clinics, concerts, puppet shows and educational programs for kids and adults to enjoy in the great outdoors. 3. The Bronx Zoo

[ Under-The-Radar The PalisadesAlternative: ] Center Did you know that one of the largest malls in the country, the Palisades Center, is a brief car ride away in West Nyack? Beyond the 400-plus stores, the mall has movie theaters and an IMAX, as well as an ice-skating rink, bowling alley, Ferris wheel, carousel, a Dave & Buster’s and all the fun eats you could imagine.


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The great animal exhibits and attractions vary in geography and species, but all are full of jaw-dropping wonder, whether it’s the Congo Gorilla Forest,

Himalayan Highlands or the Butterfly Gardens. On weekends, the zoo usually features special programming for kids that marries education and fun. Alternative: [ Under-The-Radar The Staten Island ] Zoo The zoo is a good reason to hop on the ferry and spend more time on Staten Island. It’s small and perfect for little kids who like to wander around its pretty environs. It has a petting zoo, pony rides and lots of fun animal facts posted all around the property. 4. The American Museum of Natural History From the stars above us to the beginning of man, the Museum of Natural History takes kids on so many amazing journeys to the heart of our natural world, while bringing to life (so to speak) such incredible figures from our past and present as Tyrannosaurus Rex and the big, blue whale. The museum also does a great job of planting the seeds of wonder and of care for the environment in children. Alternative: [ Under-The-Radar Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge ] Speaking of the natural world, Jamaica Bay is the only wildlife refuge in the National Park system. It is the

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first 62 years open. And as our grandest symbol of freedom, Lady Liberty was the perfect welcoming committee of one. Kids should experience this history firsthand— and there are special exhibits and activities at both places to help.; nps. gov (search for “Statue of Liberty”)

place to observe migrating birds, and its unique landscape contains rare native habitats like salt marshes, woods, several fresh and brackish water ponds, and an open expanse of bay. There is a variety of ranger and partner-led programs, including presentations on seasonal wildlife, sunset tours, hikes, boat trips and family programs. (search for “Jamaica Bay”)



Under-The-Radar Alternatives: The Rubin Museum Of Art & Museum Of Arts And Design (MAD) Almost all museums have some kind of programming for kids and families these days. Both the Rubin Museum of Art, which focuses on the Himalayas, and MAD, the Museum of Arts And Design, have become especially popular among families because of their commitment to kid-minded programming.;

6. Yankee Stadium/Citi Field We’re not going to try to settle any Yankees vs. Mets debates right here, except to say that there’s nothing like taking a kid to his or her first ball game. Eat hot dogs, enjoy that seventh inning stretch and pray really loudly for your hero to hit a homerun.;



Under-The-Radar Alternatives: Staten Island Yankees/Brooklyn Cyclones/Long Island Ducks As thrilling as it is to go to a big league ball game, a minor league game often has a more personal and zany charm, with lots of kids activities like baseball clinics and the ceremonial running of the bases after the team wins. (search for “Staten Island Yankees”);;

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7. Coney Island It may not look or feel like Disney World, but Disney doesn’t have a genuine ocean, beach and a historic boardwalk at its front door. With the aquarium, new rides and amusements, classic oldies like the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel, Nathan’s, the Brooklyn Cyclones and the holy troika of beach-boardwalk-ocean, a day in Coney is the best.;

In the same spirit of celebrating our heritage, a trip to NYC’s multitude of ethnic museums can open little eyes to a whole new world. The Tenement Museum, Asia Society and Museum, the Jewish Museum of New York, El Museo Del Barrio and MOCA all have excellent programs. Just a short trip from the city center, the Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany and the African American Museum in Hempstead, Long Island are also excellent.;; thejewishmuseum. org;;;; 9. Chinatown

Alternatives: [Under-The-Radar ] Carousels James Kelleher

5. Metropolitan Museum of Art The Met’s collections are so vast and diverse that one of the best approaches is to let children roam around with you. The museum offers a bunch of free drop-in programs for families and, for many children, the most fun spot to drop in on is the museum shop. But at least you know that by the time you get there, they’ve gotten a world-class dose of art and culture!

Alternatives: [Under-The-Radar Ethnic Museums ]

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

There’s been a flourish of new carousels around the city including Jane’s Carousel in DUMBO and others in Flushing Meadows Park and Forest Park in Queens. Add to those the old regulars in Central Park, Prospect Park and Coney Island, and round and round we go!; 8. Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island The immigration station on Ellis Island received over 12 million immigrants in its

Got some picky eaters on your hands? Take them down to Chinatown to get swept up the neighborhood’s ethnic hubbub while enjoying some dim sum. Bonus: Older kids can practice their communication skills by haggling with the hawkers, and parents can pick up some exotic fruit to take back from the wet markets. Alternatives: [Under-The-Radar Food Trucks ]

continued on page 16 July 2012 | New York Family


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10. FAO Schwarz/Toys“R”Us/ American Girl Place Being enveloped by larger-than-life stuffed animals at FAO Schwarz! Going for the Ferris wheel ride at Toys“R”Us! Having a Mommy & Me lunch date at American Girl Place! For a child, every day is a holiday day at our grandest mega-toy stores.;;

[ Madame Alexander Doll Company] Under-The-Radar Alternative:

There’s something about seeing how stuff is made that can captivate a child. During a visit to Madame Alexander, you’ll see a gallery of dolls and storyboards that span almost 100 years—and then the real fun: a behind-the-scenes tour that takes you through the design and production lines as well as the doll “hospital.” 11. Big Apple Circus The circus that bears our name and is our fun ambassador to kids all around the world makes it all happen—the clowns, acrobats, jugglers, contortionists and absurdly well-trained animals—in just one ring, under one tent, where every seat in the house is a good one. There’s something so small-town about the experience, we just love it!

12. New York Botanical Garden/ Brooklyn Botanic Garden Who says urbanites can’t get in touch


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14. The New Victory Theater/ Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) Don’t think of this as a tie or a draw; rather, view this as a celebration of two special and, in a way, complementary cultural institutions. There’s just nothing like the New Victory, which features live acts that are both family-friendly and kind of cutting-edge. In a similar spirit, CMOM does an incredible job of taking important concepts like the body and health and making them fun, accessible and understandable for children through interactive exhibits and activities.;

[Flower District and The High Line] Under-The-Radar Alternatives:

Blink and you might miss the leafy greens, bright blooms and creative containers in Chelsea’s Flower District on 28th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. But the true urban hideaway is 25 feet above ground, along the train trackturned-park High Line. Over 200 species of plants thrive in the first section alone; see if you can guess which 161 are native to New York.

13. New York Hall of Science/ Liberty Science Center/ Intrepid Museum Young Einsteins have a lot of local inspiration. Both the 450-exhibit New York Hall of Science and the 300,000-squarefoot Liberty Science Center hold a lifetime’s worth of sensory adventures and interactive programs. For astronaut hopefuls, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum just became the new home for the Enterprise space shuttle.; lsc. org;


[ Puppetworks & Our Libraries ] Under-The-Radar Alternatives:

NYC is blessed with a master puppeteer, Nicolas Coppola, who puts on amazing puppet versions of classic stories. And perhaps this goes without saying, but all around the city, the branch libraries as well as the big central ones offer an incredible mix of events and exhibitions for kids. And it’s always free.;

15. Winter Holiday Fun There’s a reason why so many holiday movies are set in the Big Apple. With glittering Christmas trees, fantastic store window displays and frosty skating rinks, the city becomes a winter wonderland every December. The Nutcracker performances, model train shows and endless opportunities to interact with what seems like a billion Santas are just some of the can’t-miss festivities.


Under-The-Radar Alternatives: Sony Wonder Technology Lab/ Museum of the Moving Image

Alternative: [ Under-The-Radar The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus ] Another NYC-born spectacle, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus offers a truly unique hybrid of circus arts-vaudevilleWild West-burlesque that they fine-tune in age-appropriate ways for the audience.

Moving Image has a lot of engaging exhibits about the technology that produces light and sound.;

with nature? Our two magnificent floral oases, the New York Botanical Garden (in the Bronx) and Brooklyn Botanic Garden are not only pleasant to look at, they offer all sorts of kids classes in gardening and science and family-minded special events. Mini green thumbs will love losing themselves amongst lush mazes, gargantuan flowers and other green curiosities.;


The whole family can channel their inner geeks—for free—at midtown’s Sony Wonder Technology Lab, where cuttingedge software lets you make your own computer game and project dance moves into a cool animation. In celebrating the history of movies, the Museum of the

James Kelleher

Go online and show kids the delectable splendor of our local food trucks, how many of them now have websites and how they use Twitter to communicate their whereabouts. Then plan a rendezvous or two! With over 3,000 food trucks and carts selling lobster rolls, Mexican barbecue, gourmet grilled cheese and more, you’re bound to introduce your child to some favorites and soon-to-be favorites.

Under-The-Radar Alternative: Spring In springtime, the city feels friendly and inviting. Families start taking walks with their kids after dinner. The playgrounds fill up again. And this is a great time to do touristy stuff because there aren’t that many visitors around yet—they’re still in school.


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Mark Your Calendars! 12 Can’t-Miss Family-Friendly Events In The Year Ahead In the city that’s always offering its residents and visitors the next big thing, we’ve found twelve can’t-miss moments for the coming year. From spiders at the American Museum of Natural History to a skateboarder exhibit at the New York Hall of Science, there’s plenty to keep your family busy. And just remember, these are only a few of the countless fun and familyfriendly events taking place all year long. There are some hardy perennials—like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and other classics—that we chose to forego in order to bring your attention to events you may not already know about. Art Forms: 75 Years Of Arts Education At The Children’s Museum Of The Arts Through September 30, 2012 For the first time ever, the Children’s Museum of the Arts will display historic children’s artwork from the collections of celebrated art educators alongside contemporary artwork by New York City public school students and the museum’s teaching artists. Celebrate art education from the 1930s to today. “Spiders Alive!” At The American Museum Of Natural History July 28-December 2012 Beware of arachnophobia at the American Museum of Natural History! “Spiders Alive!” has descended with larger-than-life models, videos, interactive exhibits and fossils. For the bravest of the bunch, museum staff will be handling live arachnids for visitors to see up close. Fresh Beat Band In Concert September 8-9 & 18-19, 2012 In case you missed them in March, the Fresh Beat Band, aka The Fab Four for tots, are back with six shows at the Beacon. Your kids will Go Bananas! “Global Shoes” At The Brooklyn Children’s Museum September 22, 2012-March 10, 2013 Not just for budding Cinderellas, the


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Brooklyn Children’s Museum introduces “Global Shoes,” a bilingual exhibition (Spanish-English) complete with fantasy shoe store and factory. Designed for children ages 5-12, kiddos will learn just what their Uggs and Keens say about them. Boo At The Bronx Zoo October 2012 A New York Halloween tradition, weekends in October at the Bronx Zoo are chock full of programs and events known as Boo at the Zoo. What could be better to get in the spirit of Halloween than a visit with some creepy-crawlies?

Curious George At The Liberty Science Center January-May 2013 Finally—the chance to meet Curious George! The ever-curious monkey and his friend, The Man with the Yellow Hat, will be residing at the Liberty Science Center through May and invite children ages 3-7 to visit their neighborhood. While visiting an apartment house, sidewalk produce stand, construction site and more, Curious George will help children learn key concepts in science, math and engineering.

“Annie” Starting November 8, 2012 Little orphan Annie will be singing her way back into New York City’s heart on November 8, 2012, when the musical reopens on Broadway. Set your alarm for September 1—the day tickets go on sale!

Grand Central Terminal’s 2013 Centennial February 1-March 15, 2013 Grand Central Terminal is 100 years old this year! The New York Transit Museum is celebrating this milestone birthday with a family-friendly exhibit at Vanderbilt Hall. Learn how the site was built—and Midtown around it—to become a focal point of New York life.

Circus Oz At The New Victory Theater November 30-December 30, 2012 Not your mother’s circus troupe, Australia’s eccentric Circus Oz will return to The New Victory with From the Ground Up, a circus with skyscrapers as its theme. Featuring live rock music and dazzling circus feats, the whole family will be astounded.

“Rad Science” At The New York Hall Of Science February-May 2013 An exhibit centered on legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, “Rad Science” at the New York Hall of Science will teach visitors how Hawk’s awesome tricks use physics principles like gravity, force, velocity, acceleration, inertia and balance.

90-Second Newbery Film Festival December 2, 2012 Discover the great filmmakers of tomorrow. The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival invites children to make 90 second movies of their favorite Newbery award-winning books. Top videos will be screened on December 2, hosted by the festival’s co-creator James Kennedy and the hilarious Jon Scieszka (The Stinky Cheese Man) with special guest appearances by Kate DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux) and Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer).

35th Annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow At The Queens County Farm Museum July 26-28, 2013 Don’t miss New York City’s oldest and largest American Indian Pow Wow at the Queens County Farm Museum. Forty Indian nations are represented over three days of intertribal Native American dance competitions. Native American art, crafts, jewelry and foods also available. For more event picks check out our Family Calendar at

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ONLY 5 RAIL STOPS FROM WORLD TRADE Discover a whole day of family fun at Liberty Science Center! Live animals, science shows, hands-on exhibits, films in three theaters and so much more! It’s a cool way to spend a summer day.

Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ • 201.253.1310

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? C Y N w no k u o y o d l l e w How With family experiences in mind, we’ve put together a quiz to test how much you really know about the city you’re raising your children in. Jump in, or better yet, share the quiz with your children. Hopefully, it’ll bring back some nice memories and inspire some new adventures. (Answers on page 85) 1. Our zoos and aquariums have lots of popular animals. Match the following with the names everyone knows them by: A. A male California sea lion at the Bronx Zoo B. A polar bear at the Central Park Zoo C. A sea otter at the New York Aquarium


3. Back in its heyday, Coney Island had a very famous seven-story hotel shaped, surprisingly, like:

2. Place the following Broadway shows in order of the shortest- to the longest-running:

A. AN ELEPHANT B. A TROJAN HORSE C. A FERRIS WHEEL D. AN APPLE 5. Which popular New York City eatery has menu items called the Pooch-ini and Bag O’ Bones for its canine customers?


4. Santa did an especially good job of getting around the city last holiday season. You could have taken your child to meet him at any of the following NYC establishments except. . .



6. The original contest to design Central Park required designers to include what recreational feature?


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7. Taking a child for a walk over a bridge offers awesome city views and a great adventure. All of the following NYC bridges have pedestrian walkways except:


8. The city is one big playground! Match each of the following playgrounds with its distinguishing feature:


9. One of the most popular and acclaimed children’s book writers of our time, Mo Willems, set his award-winning Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale in Park Slope. Which of the follow was not pictured in the book?


11. The American Museum of Natural History contains the world’s largest collection of vertebrate fossils, numbering…



12. Cupcake emporiums have become all the rage. Which of the following is not the name of a cupcake store in our sweetest of cities:

13. Popular with tourists and ever-present in movies, the observation deck of the Empire State Building is famous. What floor is it?


14. Children’s museums are treasures—and we are blessed with five of them. See if you can match each museum with one of its special features.


15. Kids love presidents and presidents have spent a good deal of time in our city. Match each president to the following NYC event: 1. He was sworn in as President at Manhattan’s Federal Hall. A. THEODORE ROOSEVELT 2. He was born in his family home on 28 East 20th Street. B. ABRAHAM LINCOLN 3. On his very first trip to NYC, his horse ran away twice and C. THOMAS JEFFERSON he almost drowned while fording a river. D. GEORGE WASHINGTON

4. He left an opera at the Academy of Music early because the police had received notice of a plot to kill him.

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SaverS Tutoring, Babysitting, Even Vacationing— There Are More Opportunities To Contain The Cost Of An NYC Childhood Than One Might Think BY HillarY CHura You don’t need to move to the suburbs to save money. (In fact, that usually doesn’t work, but more on that later.) In my experience, there are ways to reduce the cost of almost any good or service you and your family enjoy as part of living in the city—it just takes a little creativity and moxie. I’ll get you going with some of my favorite money-saving tips for New York families, but once you start noodling it over, about I’m sure you’ll come up with some of your own. Travel New York is the country’s top tourist destination, so the next time you start planning a family trip, consider a home swap. For about $10 a month, websites like HomeExchange and Intervac can connect you with members in places you’d like to visit. You stay in their home (usually complete with washer/dryer, kitchen, lawn and sometimes even a pool and car) while they stay in yours. No additional money changes hands. Tip: some co-ops don’t allow swaps, so be sure to check with your building beforehand. Neighborhood Goods And Services The big lesson here is look farther afield. Take storage, for example. If you live in Manhattan, you’re likely to find


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it cheaper (and just as safe) to use a reputable storage facility in Queens or the Bronx. The same lesson works for birthday cakes, children’s clothing, car washes, dental work, groceries, manicures, kitchen cabinets and almost anything else you’re looking to save money on. Also, never assume that prices within your neighborhood are uniform. I recently was stunned to discover I could pay $19 for a pound of wild caught salmon at Fairway, $30 at Agata or $40 at the local fishmonger—all stores within a mile of one another. (And don’t even get me started on price differentials in overnight parking.) You never know. Child Labor Nowhere is it written that you need a 30-year-old CPR-certified, tax-paying professional for a babysitter. Especially if your children are somewhat self-sufficient, consider asking a responsible and smart younger teenager to watch the kids on date night. They can stick a frozen pizza in the oven, help the kids with their homework and be infinitely more entertaining and energetic than an adult who’s babysitting after a full day in the office. Expect to pay $8 to $10 an hour—did I just hear you gasp?—which is about half of what high school seniors, college students and professional sitters charge. If you’re queasy about leaving a 15-year-old in charge, remember who watched you on those Love

Boat-Fantasy Island Saturday nights when your parents were out! Teacher Tutors This is New York, so even academic rock stars will need a private tutor at least once before they start going on the grand college tour or start applying for financial aid. If you can’t or don’t want to spend $150 an hour for established tutoring services, try connecting with one of your child’s former teachers (a good one, of course) or ask friends for recommendations. Many full-time instructors are already tutoring on the side—and guess what? They’re usually really good at it; they’re teachers! (Plus they’re often familiar with specific tests your child will be taking.) Since you’re enlisting just their expertise and with no middleman, expect to pay one-third to one-half of what established tutoring agencies bill. Camps Think outside the tent. Some of the more affordable day camps are sponsored by non-profits like the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, the Van Cortlandt House Museum, Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, YMCAs and other local community centers, New York Botanical Garden and Greenwich House. Likewise, many neighborhood churches offer weeklong half-day programs where kids do continued on page 24

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crafts, sing and play outside with some Old and New Testament stories sprinkled in. A week-long program rarely tops $80 per child, and many churches offer discounts for sibs. Though technically not a nonprofit, the Parks Department itself offers a $500/summer program through a lottery. Student Practitioners If you or your child needs a service like a haircut, dental work, ADHD or speech therapy or even a family portrait photography session, make a call to a local professional school. To get the practice they need, student apprentices will knead your muscles, snip your locks, address your lisp or drill your cavities under the watch of a veteran—at next to nothing. You can also call the school’s placement offices and ask about how to hire recent graduates. Believe it or not, I did this to find my most recent (OK, only) home decorator. She was young—but kept me from making some headache-inducing mistakes. Oursource Parenting If you can make it happen, ship the kids to the grands in a cheaper zip code for a week or two of intergenerational bonding over this summer. Even if you enroll the kids in camp, living expenses go down radically when you’re almost anywhere but here. And if you can’t accompany your kids on the drop-off or pick-up trip, consider the fact that you generally pay only an extra $50 to $100 for an unaccompanied minor (aged 5 to 11) to fly solo on non-stop flights.

Negotiate New York is full of mom-and-pop businesses, and just about everyone from dentists to the proprietors of kids activity and enrichment centers may lower their bills if you ask. One friend with three kids tried this for summer camp and was so stunned at the discount offered by the camp that he told the owner he didn’t expect that much of a break. Given the economy, even big businesses like hospitals may offer after-the-fact rebates if you receive a bill that’s higher than you expected. School Auctions To raise money, many local schools now feature some of the items from their annual benefit on their websites prior to the actual benefit. These are great ways to find big breaks on local children’s classes and birthday parties, among other things. And you don’t have to buy a ticket, dress up or go somewhere to participate; they just want your money. Also, check out biddingforgood. com, an online auction clearinghouse where schools, foundations, religious organizations and other charities across the country auction off summer camps, trips, memberships, jewelry, sports tickets and other donations all year round. This spring, I snagged a


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local museum membership, baseball class, professional consulting, dolphin watching and a chess camp for less than half the price that I had paid in the past. Final Thought In case you’re pondering a move to the land of lawn care and shopping malls to cut costs, you may want to reassess. Assuming you move close enough to the city to keep your day job, chances are your monthly outlay is likely to remain similar to whatever it was in the city, if not more. Soon enough, you’ll wonder where it all goes at the end of the month (much as you probably do now) thanks to paying for niceties like lawn care, garbage collection, snow removal, commuting, heating and cooling, lighting for an extra 2,000 square feet, a car (or two), insurance on those vehicles and higher real estate taxes. On the positive side, with your extra hour (at least) of commuting each day, you’ll have the plenty of time to figure it out. Hillary CHura is a freelanCe writer, longtime business reporter and nyC mom of two. look for Her work on newyorkfamily.Com, wHere sHe’ll soon be starting a blog about, yes, parenting money savers.

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By Celene MCDerMott


With New Venues And Programs Popping Up All Over The City, The Choice Is Yours For What Class Best Suits Your Child One of the best ways to help kids make the city their own is to sign them up for an extracurricular class that they can attend on a regular basis. A weekly class will allow children to get to know a teacher outside of an academic setting, to cooperate with others in a creative atmosphere and to see the fruits of their labor (and learning!)— whether they choose to attend a pottery class or a soccer clinic. 14th Street Y This community center located on the East Side in Gramercy offers a number of programs for families with kids of all ages. For babies and toddlers, classes are offered in movement, art and music. Ages 3-12 can sign up for sports like baseball and soccer


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or for dance like ballet and Capoeira. There are also children’s swim classes, tumbling and gymnastics as well as courses for children with special needs.

74th St. MAGIC 74th St. MAGIC offers one of NYC’s most comprehensive enrichment programs, with a wide array of classes in its Mini MAP program (early preschool enrichment), MAP program (preschool alternative classes) and MAGIC program (music, art, gymnastics and cooking classes). Sharing a building with Epiphany Community Nursery School, children will find state-of-the-art classrooms, a baby- and a fully-equipped full-size gym as well as an outdoor rooftop playground. Its mission is to help children gain confidence and independence while cultivating their curiosity and talents. Fall semester begins Monday, September 10.

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92nd Street Y This special gem on the Upper East Side offers so much for families and kids of all ages, including a nursery school, Wonderplay early childhood programs and a parenting center. Afterschool classes in dance, art, music, aquatics and sports are offered for all ages. There is also a variety of family performances and holiday celebrations throughout the year, as well as a rooftop playground and an indoor GymMaze. ABC Do-Re-ME! Music and movement classes for infants up to six years old are offered in several locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Astoria, Queens. Programs include the drop-in Musical Playdate with guitar-playing and children’s song-singing teachers; Musical Stories which feature animal songs, children’s stories and funny instruments like nose flutes; Classical Playdate introducing kids to classical music; and Boogey Baby, a special dance class for moms and their babies in baby carriers. Ailey Extension Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Extension in Midtown West offers a recreational series and pre-professional dance training for ages 2-17. In Tiny Steps, little ones learn the connection between dance, rhythm and music. Ages 7-11 can sign up for hip hop, while older kids 12 and up will explore ballet or contemporary jazz. American Museum of Natural History This iconic museum on the Upper West Side offers classes for kids ages 2 through high school, including special workshops, camps and institutes. A Science and Nature Program offers weekday morning and afterschool classes that let kids explore artifacts and specimens, live animal habitats and more. The Early Adventures Program, for preschoolers beginning at age 2, offers classes on observing and handling live animals and taking part in science-based art projects. Applause NYC The home of Rock ‘n Roll Babies, Broadway Babies and Broadway

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Stars, Applause Theatrical Workshops are designed for kids who love to perform, whether they’re newborns or in the 12th grade. Theater games, improvisation, musical theater performance, acting and dancing are offered. Workshops are located on the Upper East Side. apple seeds apple seeds is an all-in-one play space for families with children newborn to 5 years. Their flagship location is in the Chelsea/Flatiron neighborhood, and a second location on the Upper West Side has just opened in July 2012. Both locations feature a state-of-the-art indoor playground with museum-quality exhibits, 100 different children’s classes per week, unique birthday parties and an awardwinning day camp. apple seeds is a clean, safe and fun space where parents and caregivers can bring their children to play, learn and just hang out! UWS coming soon!

The Art Farm in The City Come enjoy the award-winning petting zoo and experience a variety of classes and programs. Rocks, Smocks & Animals (adult & me): Meet a new animal each week, sing/dance to the guitar, & do arts & crafts! Animal Care class: Your child spends quality time with live animals/gains unique science skills! Mini-Chef class: New, yummy recipes every time! M-F drop-ins: Playroom/toys, a fun art project, cooking & live animals! Birthday Parties: 9 themes ranging from farm animals to minichef to mad science! ArtXplorers Kids 3 ½-12 years old can sign up for live tours of over 25 museums and art galleries in New York City with ArtXplorers at Art Muse, located on the Upper East Side. Special themes offered include Egyptian art, African masks and storytelling, Greek gods, shapes and colors and

more. Each tour includes an art project, props and objects for kids to touch. Little ones younger than 5 must be accompanied by an adult. Asphalt Green Active kids can head to this sports center on the Upper East Side for all their swimming, fitness and sports needs. All ages can sign up for gymnastics, flag football, martial arts, soccer, baseball and more. There’s also a Speed, Agility, Quickness (SAQ) Academy for ages 7-14 for improving fitness and core strengthening. Atlantic Acting School Home to famous alumni like Felicity Huffman and Jessica Alba, this acting school gets kids and teens started with a variety of afterschool and summer programs. Kids get an introduction to writing, acting, storytelling and improvisation. Ages pre-K to 6 years create stories through play and improvisational exercises, while older students learn the Practical Aesthetics technique created by David Mamet and William H. Macy. All classes culminate with a performance. Baby Fingers Based on extensive research, Baby Fingers offers a combination of American Sign Language instruction, music, games, stories and dramatic play to promote family communication. American Sign Language is offered to babies and toddlers, while kids 2-6 can take Creative Play and Sign to improve speech and language and further develop literacy skills. For all ages, Sign and Stretch combines sign language with yoga. Baby Fingers is available at multiple locations throughout Manhattan. Ballet Academy East Located on the Upper East Side, Ballet Academy East offers ballet classes for all ages, including mother and child classes for the littlest dancers and pre-ballet for ages 3-6. Tap is offered for ages 3.5-6 to develop musicality, while drama classes for ages 4-6 incorporate group improvisations and theater games. There’s also a modern dance class offered for ages 3-5as well as continued on page 28 Ju 2012 | New York Family


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primary ballet and enrichment classes for ages 6 and up. Teens can take ballet, tap, jazz and zumba. The Ballet Club This dance studio on the Upper East Side offers ballet classes and a children’s Creative Dance Club for all ages. A ballet club class introduces little ones to ballet techniques, classical ballet and the history of ballet through a special story time. The Creative Dance Club focuses on modern dance, jazz, folk dance and natural movement. Ballet Hispanico This ballet studio on the Upper West Side adds Hispanic culture and dance styles to traditional ballet. A special Adventures in Dance is offered for the 1-5 crowd; the general program for ages 6-18 offers over 30 classes a week in ballet, flamenco, hip-hop and salsa, as well as training in varied Latin American dance traditions. Bija Kids Through their yoga classes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Bija Kids teaches children the basics of physical postures, breathing practices and age-appropriate meditation techniques. In an energetic and creative setting, groups of children (crawling through tweens) and families can work on improving strength, coordination and flexibility, while focusing on relaxation through meditation. Bilingual Birdies The foreign language and live music curriculum at Bilingual Birdies features interactive songs, movement, dance, puppetry and theater-based games. The program is designed to teach children of all ages French, Mandarin, Hebrew and Spanish vocabulary alongside respective cultures. You’ll find Bilingual Birdies at community centers, preschools and indoor playgrounds throughout the city. Bilingual Buds Programs are offered in Mandarin and Spanish at this immersion school located on the Upper West Side. Classes after school feature science, technology, the arts and culture, as well as a mommy-


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and-me bonding for ages 1-3. Another supplemental program for enrolled preschoolers and summer camps are also available. Broadway Dance Center Young dancers receive elite training from leading dance teachers and choreographers in state-of-the-art studios located in the Theater District. The Children’s and Teen Program (ages 3-18) offers 32 weeks of instruction in creative movement, pre-dance, ballet, tap, jazz, hiphop, Triple Threat, Latin, jazz, modern, African, contemporary, jumps & turns and lyrical dancing. Shorter workshops in a variety of styles and levels are also offered. Carousel of Languages Kids 6 months-12 years can learn a foreign language, including Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin and Russian at The Carousel of Languages, located on both the Upper East and West Sides. An afterschool program for kids to continue their linguistic studies, as well as a summer program that incorporates games, music and art, is also offered. Chelsea Piers Sports enthusiasts of all ages love this Chelsea complex, which features classes in every sport imaginable, including golf, baseball, basketball, bowling, boxing, dance and gymnastics. Also on the menu: ice hockey and ice skating at the Sky Rink, fitness classes, running, soccer, sailing, rock climbing, yoga, swimming and volleyball. Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA) A team of professional teaching artists leads age-appropriate classes in fine art and media-making at The Children’s Museum of the Arts in SoHo. WeeArt classes are offered for babies up to age 5 to have a multi-sensory experience with art that develops fine and gross motor skills. Kids 5-15 can sign up for afterschool classes like drawing, sculpting, learning about art history, animation, film making and more. A teen program also offers a more intensive art curriculum that helps students build their portfolios.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) CMOM’s popular enrollment classes offered all year long! Sign up now! Intimate classes, expertly trained teachers and unique classroom spaces—a combination offered nowhere else in New York City. CMOM’s enrollment classes are designed to support the many ways children learn and to help parents understand and guide their child’s development. For a list of seasonal classes or to enroll, please call 212-721-1223 x 225. Children’s Tumbling Starting at 16 months old, children can learn the gymnastics behind tumbling at Children’s Tumbling. With a non-competitive approach, music, storytelling and imagination are incorporated into active classes for kids in Lower Manhattan. For kids 6 years and older, Stiltwalking, trapeze amd circus silk classes are available. Child’s Play NY Budding thespians learn the craft of acting by re-interpreting classic and contemporary children’s literature at Child’s Play NY in Carroll Gardens and Brooklyn Heights. Afterschool classes for ages 3-5 are offered alongside summer intensives and in-school residencies for both 3-5 and 6-9, in which kids explore story-telling, song, creative movement, theater games and improvisation. Church Street School for Music and Art This non-profit school for the arts in Lower Manhattan focuses on music and art classes for ages 16 months up to teens and adults. An Afterschool Arts Academy features classes in: comics and illustration, art foundations, hip hop dance, digital photography, CSS choristers, digital animation/sound effects, drawing, painting, sculpture, wellness and yoga. continued on page 30

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Citibabes Located in SoHo, this family membership club offers age-appropriate classes for little ones 2 months to 10 years. Besides its renowned preschool program, CitiSchool, kids can also enroll in enriching classes focusing on science, art, cooking, music, ballet and creative movement, foreign languages like French and Spanish, American Sign Language and family yoga. Combination classes for babies and toddlers are also offered. Collina Italiana Italian language and culture programs are offered at this Upper East Side location as well as off-site. Children’s programming, developed for toddlers through teens (2 and above), includes singing, dancing, theater, storytelling, games and Disney films in Italian. Kids ages 5-12 will even create a play and perform it all in Italian on stage. Columbus Gym  Active tots and school-aged children can sign up for classes at Columbus Gym, the

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largest gym on the Upper West Side. Classes feature age-appropriate activities for ages 6-12 months up to 12 years old. The 3,000-squarefoot gymnasium features tumbling mats, a soft jungle gym, a trampoline, beams, rings and bars, where kids can test their gymnastics, movement, motor skills, balance and coordination. Cook With Class  Chef Rob Endelman teaches cooking classes for ages 5 and up. All classes use organic, local and seasonal ingredients. Kids learn how to make over their favorite junk foods using various cooking techniques. Classes are offered throughout New York City.

BIG TIP: How Young Is Too Young? In the world of extracurriculars, there is increasing pressure for kids to specialize in an activity they are passionate about, even if that means cutting out or cutting way down on other areas of interest. Whether it’s sports, art, music or chess, kids are faced with the choice of going deep and often getting competitive at younger and younger ages. What’s a concerned parent to do? Let’s start with this important tidbit: As Dr. Paul Weiss, Chief Program Officer at Asphalt Green, who has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, noted to us, parents should realize that, in sports at least, there really isn’t a connection between early triumphs and later success at the highest levels. “There is evidence that success in sports at the age of 10 or 11 generally has little correlation with later success when athletes are 17 or 18—the critical years for many athletes in terms of their physical development, capacity for performance and timing to participate in college athletics.” Moreover, if your goal is to raise a child with a lifetime attachment to physi-


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cal activity (or any other passion), here’s what Dr. Weiss recommends: Make participation in sports and physical fitness a priority in your family, at a comparable priority level as music, art, reading and other pursuits. Let your child prioritize “fun” in his or her sport choices. The first goal should be mastery of skills, not objective performance. As children’s bodies change and develop, particularly with the onset of puberty, their physical abilities may similarly morph. Exposure to multiple sports throughout elementary and middle school can ease these transitions by providing the child with the broadest possible athletic skill set and the confidence to refocus on a sport that better suits them. When your child crosses the threshold into the tween years, it’s time to start thinking about sport specialization. However, the focus should still be on mastery of skills. The most important advice: raise the whole child and make sports a critical part of this whole.

The Craft Studio Due to popular demand The Craft Studio is pleased to announce we now offer crafting classes. Let your kids create uninhibitedly with the most fun, creative and trendy art supplies. From neon wrap bracelets to designing wallets and pocketbooks to multi-media self portraits and so much more. With our supportive and caring instructors and our famous fun philosophies, your kids will be begging for more Craft Studio classes! From rowdy boys to girly girls, we have something for every child ages 3 and up! Available in studio, and in your school or space! Call to inquire or set up your own class! Creative Play for Kids This music, movement and play program for babies 3 months old to toddlers 3 years old is offered at several locations throughout Manhattan. Little ones will enjoy singing, dancing, open play, stories and instrument playing. Drop-in classes and music-and-art combo classes are also available. DanceSport Located on West 34th Street, the largest ballroom and Latin dance studio in New York offers a Made4Kids music and dance education program. Little Learners, for ages 3-5, encourages individual expression and communication, free style dance, partner dance and the fundamentals of sign language. Pre-school alternative music and dance classes are also offered. Children 6-12 will learn dances from different cultures, including salsa, merengue, swing, ballroom, hip hop and more. Dean Street This Brooklyn restaurant’s weekly children’s events include everything from arts and crafts to story time to singalongs with kid-favorite musicians and bands. All programs begin at 10:30am— so stick around after for a family lunch!

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The Diller-Quaile School of Music Since 1920, Diller-Quaile has been developing the innate musicality in each individual, inspiring participation for a lifetime. The School is comprised of Early Childhood, Instrumental & Vocal, Adult, Teacher Training, and Outreach Departments. Rug Concerts, master classes and faculty concerts occur throughout the year. Classes begin 9/18/12. Discovery Programs This early childhood institution on the Upper West Side hosts year-round special events, classes, camps and programs for ages 19 months to 10 years. At each age, kids have a variety of activities to choose from. Classes include Art for Tots, ballet and jazz, gymnastics (including Baby Gym and Gym for Tots), Sumo Samurai, soccer, a Musical Theater Club and more. There’s also an open gym and art studio. The Early Ear A variety of music classes are offered at The Early Ear, designed to introduce musical concepts to young children. Classes are grouped by age (4-12 months, 1-2 years, 2-3 years, 3-4 years and 4-5 years) and range from sing-alongs to introducing musical instruments. The classes are designed to help students decide which musical instrument they want to study for private lessons. Located throughout the Upper East and West Sides. East Side Tae Kwon Do  At this Upper East Side gym, kids ages 2-12 learn martial arts training in tae kwon do. Cardio kickboxing, warrior yoga classes, Parent/Child Tae Kwon Do and Bully SelfDefense workshops (for ages 5-7 and 8-12) are also offered. Eastside Westside Music Together Eastside Westside Music Together, an internationally recognized childhood music program for babies, toddlers and children up to age seven, is located on both the Upper East and West Sides. Baby and mixed age groups encourage each child to move, chant, sing and explore musical instruments with lots of parent participation. Older kids ages 5-7 will learn basic music literacy combined with play, laying the foundation for school or private instruction.


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East Side Yoga Designed to build body awareness in a non-competitive environment, this kids’ yoga school on the Upper East Side offers age-appropriate classes that teach proper form, poses and even meditation. Classes are available for kids 2-12. Fastbreak Kids  Kids in K-5th grade can sign up for Fastbreak Kids afterschool small group instruction in baseball, basketball and flag football, to be played at various gyms and parks throughout Manhattan. In addition, weekend programs in these sports as well as dodgeball and indoor soccer are offered for older kids. French Institute Alliance Française FIAF, located on the Upper East Side, offers education and arts classes for exploring French culture. Classes are designed for toddlers, kids and teens to learn the French language. Kids and family events and story hours are held in the library, and other performing arts events are held during the year. German American School Since 1892, teachers have been educating children of all races and cultures in German at the German-American School. Meeting once weekly, classes prepare students for a variety of tests up to college level. Gymboree Play & Music At several locations throughout Manhattan, kids can sign up for music, art, sports, family fun and school skills classes for up to age 5. Gymboree Play & Learn, one of the most popular classes, encourages development through play, from sensory stimulation to problem-solving games and storytelling. The class is offered in a variety of age groups. Gymtime Rhythm & Glues  There’s so much for kids to get involved in at this Upper East Side facility, from early enrichment and preschool alternative classes, to creative art and cooking, to gymnastics, sports and tae

kwon do. Classes are broken up into age groups for ages 6 months to 12 years. While babies and toddlers learn to play, move and explore using gross motor and early language skills, older kids can create crafts or learn about nutrition. Hands On! Using a special instrument-based curriculum, this music studio (in four Manhattan locations) introduces infants, toddlers and preschoolers to popular folk tunes, nursery rhymes and lullabies in the Hands On Musical Experience. Classes feature stories narrated by hand puppets, music, instrument exploration and movement. An introductory keyboard class is also offered for budding pianists. HiArt!  This art studio in Chelsea features a variety of classes that inspire kids. Ages 2 -12 can sign up for Opera ‘N Art, which incorporates visits to New York City museums, art galleries and operas with mixed media art projects. Other classes for older kids include writing, painting and collagemaking. Holiday camps and mini-camps are also offered. ¡HOLA! A Playgroup in Spanish  Available in multiple locations throughout Manhattan, kids are taught Spanish using original and traditional music, movement, art, games and props. Classes are offered for ages 12 months to 9 years. Besides reinforcing vocabulary in the language classes, kids can also take culture & movement classes in yoga, ballet and flamenco classes taught entirely in Spanish. Jazz at Lincoln Center Kids and families can participate in the family concert series, Jazz for Young People, in which they go behind the scenes and learn about famous jazz performers and jazz styles at Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side. WeBop, an early childhood jazz education program for ages 8 months to five years and their parents, teaches improvisation and styles and lets kids jam with a live quartet, swing to nursery rhymes and more. continued on page 34

6/23/12 10:17 AM

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JCC in Manhattan This 14-story community center on the Upper West Side serves families with a variety of classes and programs for members of all ages and abilities. The health club offers swimming lessons as well as sports and wellness classes. Other classes cover art, science, cooking, gymnastics, Russian language, dance, music, acting and performing arts. Programming is also available for children with special needs.

Jodi’s Gym Jodi’s Gym on the Upper East Side is popular among kids of all ages who are interested in gymnastics. A Teeny Tumblers class for ages 6-14 months introduces tumbling to little ones with music, clapping and dancing. Other age-appropriate classes are offered for kids up to fifth grade, incorporating more advanced gymnastics, storybook dance, or fitness—such as Creation Station Dance, Motion Evolution and Totally Tumbling. Private and semi-private lessons, camps and birthday parties are also available.

Joffrey Ballet School Kids who sign up for ballet at Joffrey Ballet School in the West Village are trained in classical and contemporary ballet as well as other forms of dance, including modern, jazz, hip-hop and character dance. A Children’s Program (ages 2-9) also offers Dance with Me (which includes parents or caregivers as the dance partner). A Young Dancer’s Program is offered for ages 10 and up.


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Sarah Herrington

continued from page 32

Karma Kids Yoga Karma Kids Yoga offers a fun and creative approach for infants through teenagers! We’ll take magical yoga adventures with puppets, songs, stories and games to keep young kids engaged and interested. As they grow, classes always include simple and challenging poses, which help to increase strength, coordination, balance, focus and confidence. We’ll also include kid-friendly music, fun yoga games and activities, and relaxation time with foot rubs. Glow-in-the-Dark Yoga, Pajama Yoga, CircusYoga and Yoga Birthday Parties are also available. Come Play Yoga! Kick & Play Introduce your toddler, 12-24 months, to the basics of soccer and fun-filled movement. From the creators of Super Soccer Stars, this pre-soccer program engages toddlers’ natural development with the help of puppet friends. Parents and children stretch to a song, enjoy a soccer warm-up and upper body activity, learn soccer skills and play educational games. Offered at several locations. Kidberry This music and education center in South Harlem introduces songs, movement, rhythmic rhymes and instrument play to babies up to kindergarteners with their Music Together class. The center also offers a “preschool in 90 minutes” concept with My Mini School, which offers circle time, art, music, dance, games, free play and snack time for toddlers and preschoolers. Dance classes incorporating ballet, hip hop and Latin rhythms are also offered, as are foreign language classes that introduce kids to French and Mandarin Chinese.

Kids at Art Kids at Art is the premiere Art Studio for Children in NYC! We focus on the basics of visual arts, with age-appropriate projects for each group from 2 to 11 years of age: painting, drawing, collage and much more, in a nurturing environment. BIG NEWS! Opening in September: Our fabulous NEW studio at 1412 Second Ave. (73-74) Kids at Work A variety of drop-off classes are offered for babies and tots up to age five at this center in Chelsea, which focuses on educational policies taken from Bank Street and Montessori systems. Try a sensory music or art class, learn how to play soccer with Super Soccer Stars, whip up some goodies with Taste Buds Kitchen, or toddle around a toddler ballet class. Sun Sessions are also offered at a local park, incorporating music, movement, stories and songs. Kids In Sports Located throughout Manhattan, kids can sign up for this specialized sports program for ages 12 months through 12 years old. They will learn the fundamentals of baseball, basketball, flag football, floor hockey, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball through multi-sport or sport-specific classes. In addition to basic skills, kids are taught sportsmanship. Kids In Sports offers camps for two different age groups, both indoors. The program for boys and girls ages 2.5-3 years old runs from 9am until 12:30pm. The older camp for ages 4-6 years old runs from 9am until 1pm. These camps run in July and August. Kidville Child Development specialists designed a variety of creative classes to stimulate, engage and entertain babies up to age 6 at this favorite kid center, located throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Choose from cooking, gym, art, enrichment, and music and dance classes like Rockin’ Railroad, which features a train conductor who takes tots on a journey through tempo, rhythm, word recognition and sound identification. Not sure if your child is ready for preschool? The Kidville University program offers a pre-school alternative. continued on page 36

6/23/12 10:17 AM

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Language Workshop for Children Stimulating language lessons are offered for babies, toddlers and children in elementary school. At the Language Workshop for Children, original music, action games, visual aids and vocabularybuilding songs help students learn language immersion in Spanish, French, Chinese and Italian. The program is internationally recognized, using The Thibaut Technique, a whole language approach using both sides of the brain. Locations are on the Upper East Side or Upper West Side at the Lucy Moses School. Launch Math Achievement Center This center on the Upper West Side teaches basic math concepts to young children, using objects and themes they encounter every day. Through small group activities, little ones 6 months-5 years will learn counting, geometric designs, math vocabulary, math attributes, measuring, estimation, probability, patterns, time and more. Kids in grades K-8 also learn in a fun class using computerbased instructional methods, hands-on teaching tools, and problem-solving techniques. Lil Yogi’s NYC The fundamentals of yoga are introduced to kids ages 12 months through the teen years in this playful, non-competitive program, which is held at studios throughout the Upper West Side and in Central Park in late spring and summer. Classes are designed to help kids feel stronger and more relaxed, engaging their imaginations with pictures, music, stories, interactive games and traditional poses. Little Maestros This award-winning infant and toddler music program, available in several Manhattan locations, offers little ones an introduction to music with instruments, age-appropriate movement exercises, pretend play and interactive activities, original music performances, bubbles, musical storytime, puppet shows and more. Loop of the Loom This hand-weaving studio on the Upper East Side offers afterschool


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classes for ages 5-14. Using the awardwinning SAORI weaving program from Japan, kids of different levels produce their own projects with semi-private instruction. They’ll learn spinning and felting from natural fiber, as well as dyeing, sewing, knitting and crochet to create belts, hats, ponchos, bags, dresses and more. A family class for homeschoolers ages 8 and up is also available. Lucy Moses School This Hebrew arts school located at the Kaufman Center on the Upper West Side offers dance, music and theater classes for children from preschoolers to teens. Preschoolers develop dance techniques through ballet, creative dance, rhythmic games, songs and stories, while older kids learn modern dance and jazz combinations to music from Broadway and children’s theater. Music classes range from instrument instruction to composition to advanced music theory, and theater classes bring favorite storybooks and fairy tales to life.

Make Meaning Make Meaning is a first-of-its-kind destination for kids and adults to have fun with creativity. We offer over 50 activities featuring popular mediums including Cake Decorating, Candles, Soap, Glass, Ceramics, Paper, Jewelry and more! Something to celebrate? Get creative with your crew in one of our stunningly designed private party spaces where your customized event promises the ultimate in interactive fun for all ages. We have locations on the Upper East and West Sides.

Mathnasium Located on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Brooklyn, this learning center helps increase your child’s math skills, understanding of concepts and overall school performance. Kids attend two or three times a week for about an hour. Moey’s Music Party This award-winning Off Broadway songwriter and mom rocker and her band perform children’s concerts throughout New York City playgrounds and for birthday parties throughout the New York Metro area. Summer classes are also offered in Central Park, featuring songs, dances, instruments, musical fairy tales, weekly themes and lessons in counting and phonics for mixed ages, infants through preschoolers. Moonsoup Babies from 2-12 months, toddlers and preschoolers up to age 5 can get a feel for sensory play, including music, art and even American Sign Language at this early childhood learning center in multiple locations in Manhattan and Astoria. Classes incorporate messy art projects, dress up costumes, puppets, drumming, dancing and more, as children work on taking turns and sharing. Musical Kids International Interested in teaching your child another language? Musical Kids International on the Upper East Side teaches kids Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Hebrew and English through interactive activities that incorporate music, dance, art and movement. Professional educators who are native speakers work with materials imported from around the world and with their own award-winning products, including reading rugs filled with multicultural materials and play areas. Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals Children 6 months to 5 years will enjoy singing, dancing, musical story telling, instrument jam sessions and puppet play at this music class featuring original continued on page 38

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Swimming: a Sport for Life




66th & 1st | 86th & 2nd | 96th & Lex. | Col. & 98th | 49th & 10th | 118th & 5th

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music that reflects growing up in an urban environment. Classes are held at multiple locations. My Gym UES At My Gym on the Upper East Side, little ones ages 6 weeks to 11 years learn sports skills, gain fine and gross motor proficiency and strengthen manipulative skills. In all age groups, teaching physical skills is a top priority, but children also develop social skills as they become good listeners, follow directions and cooperate. My Gym UWS My Gym on the Upper West Side has spent 25 years building children’s self-esteem and nurturing a love of fitness and activity. Gym, yoga and martial arts classes are offered in a clean, safe and fun environment for children 6 weeks to 10 years. Member benefits include unlimited summer classes and free plays as well as exclusive savings on parent’s night out, summer camp and birthday parties! Whether working on fine motor skills or core strength, My Gym wraps it all up in fun activities, so your child is laughing and smiling while learning and developing. National Academy Museum & School The Academy’s art classes for young students incorporate drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and mixed media in a learning environment that encourages creativity and self-expression. With classes taught indoors and outside, young students explore Museum Mile and Central Park as well as the newly redesigned Academy. New York Jazz Academy This fast-growing music school offers an introduction to jazz curriculum in locations throughout Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island. Ages 9-13 can audition for a Junior Jazz Workshop, which introduces improvisation and styles while teaching note-reading skills, music theory, instrument technique ensemble performance and more. Even infants and preschoolers can get an introduction to jazz with Jelly Jamz in Jackson Heights, Queens.


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BIG TIP: What’s Hot In Classes Some of the hottest new classes for kids are geared toward helping them become mini adults. Think: calming yoga instruction, cooking international cuisine and learning a second language. These classes present children with opportunities to broaden their horizons.   Bilingualism: When it comes to learning a new language, it seems the current mindset is: the younger, the better. Many programs have ways of introducing new languages to kids as young as infants! The big question for your child and your family is whether to opt for total immersion or a less intense curriculum.   Cooking: Kiddies are learning how to whip up nutritious, organic fare—perhaps better than their parents! Some things you may want to consider: The expertise of the instructor, dietary restrictions and whether the class offers an interesting mix of food, fun and cultural experiences.   Yoga: The incredible popularity of Mommy & Me classes has found its way onto the yoga mats. And now older kids are also saying “namaste” at these relaxing yet fun movement classes for focused exercise and a healthy dose of quiet.

New York Theatre Ballet Ballet School NY, in Murray Hill, is the official training school of New York Theatre Ballet, offering graded classes from pre-ballet (ages 4-7), Ballet I and Ballet II (ages 8-11) and advanced classes in Ballet III and Young Artists Program (ages 11 and up). The Children’s Division performs its Once Upon A Ballet series at Florence Gould Hall and is by audition only. Ballet is taught as an art form, with strong technical skill and discipline. NYChessKids One of the largest youth chess programs, NYChessKids spreads its love for the game through organizing tournaments, after school programs and chess camps. Instructors also host classes at the New York Public Library and offer private lessons. NY City Explorers This team of educators and artists offers enrichment classes, preschool programs and adventure camps for kids of all ages. Five-hour walking adventures to each of the five boroughs are available for 2-16 year olds to explore parks, museums and attractions with the Daytrippers program. NY Kids Club Sign your child up for classes at one of these six children’s enrichment centers, located throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. There are baby fitness and music

classes for infants 2-5 months old plus a variety of classes for pre-schoolers as well as school-age children. Choose from art, music, dance, gymnastics, fitness, cooking, preschool learning or combo classes that let kids explore more than one activity. Peridance Capezio Center The School at Peridance with its renowned PeriChild Program was established in 1983 and has been recognized as a pioneer in dance education within the New York dance community. Offering classes and training for students ranging from 18 months to 18 years, The School at Peridance features a progressive interdisciplinary approach to dance training, emphasizing a thorough understanding of various dance techniques, while promoting self-expression and creativity. Offering classes in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, HipHop, Musical Theater, Salsa and African. Physique Swim School Physique Swimming offers classes year-round, at all skill-levels, starting at 6 months. In addition to swim lessons, Physique Swimming offers a Summer Camp in Battery Park City, Gateway Plaza with swim instructions, an educational art program and exciting sports activities every day. Six locations throughout Manhattan. Register online and receive 10% off. continued on page 40

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Playgarden Offering classes in ballet, hip hop, sports, karate, music and more, Playgarden enriches growing minds and bodies in the early years. This indoor playground and activity center located in Tribeca is geared toward children ages 0-6. Poppyseed Pre-Nursery Meeting two or three times a week, tots & two’s with adults, enjoy frequent contact and a daily routine of singing & dancing, playing with toys, arts & crafts, minigym, snack & story time. Poppyseed - the perfect bridge between home and nursery school. Private Picassos Kids ages 18 months and up can learn all about fine art with this group of weekly classes at a variety of locations around New York City. Customized, in-home art lessons or arranged museum and gallery tours also let kids explore legendary artists. Kids get involved with interactive projects that increase fine motor skills, such as crafting their own jewelry or making their own books. The School at Steps The School at Steps is a training ground for students, ages 2-18, offering year-round programs with classes in ballet, modern, tap, jazz, theater dance, hip hop and pilates. Beginning with the Young Dancers Program and continuing through Technique classes and the PreProfessional Program, The School at Steps provides young dancers with an opportunity to explore the world of dance, to learn and experiment with technique, and to enrich their appreciation for the various forms of the art. (Ages 2-18)


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Scribble Press This make-your-own-book store on the Upper East Side invites kids to write and illustrate their own books and get them bound as a softcover or board book—or create an e-book the same day. Storytelling, art and writing classes are also offered for ages 2 through eighth grade. While the little ones create art and act out their own stories, older kids participate in creative writing. Each child leaves the class with a book they created themselves. Simply Sports This athletic program in Manhattan, for ages 3-13, offers boys and girls a range of age-appropriate sports that are scheduled after school, on weekends and on school holidays at various locations. Kids can choose to play baseball, basketball, flag football or soccer in clinics, leagues and competitions. Events like capture the flag, miniature golf and other fun sports are also organized throughout the year. Soccer by Coach Fher The well-known and much-respected Coach Fher offers a specialized development program to bring out the best soccer skills in kids ages 2.5-10. Classes are offered year-round throughout New York’s boroughs in both indoor and outdoor settings with a low coach to child radio. socialsklz:-) Fun, interactive workshops teach children more than basic manners; this organization on the Upper West Side also teaches fundamental social skills and etiquette. Lessons include making good first impressions, introducing oneself, starting conversations, dining and phone skills, making a toast at a party and safe Internet use. Classes are divided into age groups (4-7, 8-12, 13-17). SocRoc A former soccer professional and certified strength and conditioning specialist teaches soccer and fitness classes year-round throughout Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. Kids ages 2-12 will develop core, upper and lower body strength, learn soccer basics as well as enhance flexibility and endurance.

SPORTIME Randall’s Island At SPORTIME Randall’s Island, kids have a variety of classes to choose from. Besides tennis clinics, they can sign up for inline skating, roller hockey, basketball, football, multi-sport, baseball and lacrosse. Leagues, clinics, tournaments and open play are available throughout the year. Dance classes like Broadway Babes, Kinder Combo, TeenyBop Hip-Hop (featuring tap) and Citidance are also offered. StageCoach Theatre Arts Singing, drama/acting and dance classes are offered for budding thespians (ages 4-18) at this Upper East Side parttime performing arts school. Kids learn vocal articulation and modulation, acting techniques, characterization and advanced choreography. uppereastside

Toby Tenenbaum

Planet Han Mandarin for all! Learning. Fun. Confidence! Planet Han teaches Mandarin to kids and adults through our group classes, afterschool programs and private tutoring. It sends you MP3 files after each class to recap what the children have learned. Planet Han is moving in September to: 410 West End Ave (79th Street) 212-724-2421

Super Soccer Stars and Super Soccer Stars Premier Super Soccer Stars teaches soccer skills in a fun, non-competitive and educational environment. Though our age-specific curriculum, we use soccer to nurture, build self-confidence and develop teamwork. Kick & Play, our parent-child pre-soccer program, is perfect for tots ages 12-24 months. For our advanced young soccer stars, inquire about Super Soccer Stars Premier development classes as well as NY Stars Premier, our competitive travel teams. Classes offered at 250+ locations throughout the tri-state area.; continued on page 42

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invites students to write, act, shoot and edit their own film and submit to the New York International Children’s Film Festival. Cameras, audio and editing software and other equipment are provided.

SwimJim SwimJim classes are a fun way to learn swimming and water safety year-round. We believe children learn best in a friendly, loving environment where they feel safe and at ease; this enables them to learn basic and advanced swimming skills, and will help parents feel comfortable when their children are learning water safety and to swim. With 6 NYC locations and classes ranging from infants to adult, SwimJim has a class for everyone. 212-749-7335 TADA! Youth Theater Sing! Dance! Act! TADA! Youth Theater runs weekly musical theater classes, and whenever school is out, TADA! is in with 1-Day and Week-Long camps. Toddlers through 8th graders build performing skills with original TADA! music. 15 West 28th Street, 3rd floor, For more info: 212252-1619 / Take Two Film Academy Aspiring movie makers will love this filmmaking and film-acting program, available after school, on weekends and over the summer for kids and teens ages 8-15. The Upper West Side facility


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Taste Buds Kitchen Kids ages 2 through teens can sign up for weekly cooking classes and have a new culinary adventure each week at Taste Buds Kitchen, located in the Fashion District. They’ll learn to make everything from cupcakes to mac and cheese to special cuisine from around the world. Sign up to learn how to cook with the whole family. Special summer camps and day-long or week-long camps are also available during school holidays.

TLB Music  TLB Music, formerly Three Little Birds Music, is a music studio and playspace located on the Upper East Side. TLB Music’s group classes for children ages 4 months to 6 years are designed to enhance development while introducing children to all genres of music and 20 classical and folk instruments. Its eco-

friendly Playroom for children ages 10 months to 6 years is perfect for playdates and birthday parties. Beginning Fall 2012, TLB will also offer drama and art classes. West Side Taekwondo This martial arts center on the Upper West Side offers taekwondo training for kids of all ages. Age-appropriate classes include Pee Pods (ages 3-4), Pee Wee (ages 4-5), children’s program for beginners, intermediate and advanced (ages 6-11), teens and adults. YMCA  Located throughout New York City, local branches of the Y offer a variety of programs for kids of all ages, from Pre-K through teen. There are traditional sport clinics, parent/ child and group swimming lessons, fitness, art, music, dance, performing arts and visual art classes to choose from. Older kids can also take martial arts training or sign up for academic enrichment classes. Yogi Beans  This Upper East Side yoga studio for kids offers flexible drop-in classes for babies, toddlers, children and teens year-round. Age-appropriate classes help kids with breathing exercises and proper poses, while props like storybooks, songs and games will keep them entertained. For more classes in the city, visit our classes Directory at

6/23/12 10:18 AM

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Swim Lessons All Year Round Summer Day Camp in BPC

Enrich your child’s day with music, art, gym & play! “Mommy & Me” Pre-School Prep Age appropriate classes for babes, tots, and 2’s.

Sample Class Wednesday, July 25th 424 West End Ave. @ 81st 212.877.7614 |

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Financial District | Battery Park | Midtown East Upper East Side | Upper West Side


6/22/12 2:34 PM


BIRTHDAY BONANZA From World-Class Venues And Entertainers To Towering Cakes, The Big Apple Has All A Child Could Ask For When It Comes To Blowing Out Birthday Candles


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BY CYNTHIA DARLING, ROBIN SAKS FRANKEL, MARIA RILEY AND JESSICA ROBLIN Whether you plan a small family gathering or a big birthday blow-out, New York City puts the best of the best right at your fingertips when it comes to venues, entertainment, and birthday cakes for your child’s celebration. Want a sporty soirée? We’ve got you covered with birthday parties offered by world renowned athletes. Is your child more the dramatic type? Don’t worry. From acting to art, there are creative celebrations galore. So before you begin planning, check out our guide to throwing the best kind of bash. VENUES 14th Street Y Rent out this wide-open space for your child’s next birthday bash. Located in the East Village, this vibrant community center offers private rooms, a rooftop playground and a heated swimming pool.

74th St. MAGIC Host your child’s birthday party at 74th St. MAGIC and let us help you create an unforgettable day! Parents rave that MAGIC’s gymtastic parties are the most fun and best value to be found on the Upper East Side. MAGIC’s popular party themes are jampacked with fun activities in our bright and colorful gym, baby gym and cheerful party room! The outdoor rooftop playground is available, weather permitting. Our caring, experienced staff makes sure everyone is engaged and having fun! Parties are available week-ends throughout the year…and weekdays as well during the summer months. For additional information or to book your party please contact Cynthia Villanueva at

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92Y Celebrate good times Uptown at 92Y. Choose from Gymnastics, Sports, Pool and Party-Arty age-appropriate packages. 92Y provides staff, sports equipment, arts supplies, party favors and more. You bring the food, decorations and, of course, the birthday boy or girl!

Asphalt Green Get physical with a party at this Upper East Side premier athletic complex. Asphalt Green hosts active parties for children ages 3 to 12. From Gymnastics to Martial Arts to Pool Parties, kids can get their fit on.

American Museum of Natural History Party with a night, or day, at the museum! Choose from five adventure themed parties offered throughout the week or plan a group sleepover beneath a 94-footlong blue whale. Membership required.

Ballet Academy East At Ballet Academy East, the birthday child and her brood bask in a decorated studio and personalized ballet class according to a theme of the child’s choice. Following the lesson, guests dance a ballet story recited by the teacher.

Applause NYC Give your regards to Broadway with an Applause NYC birthday party for ages 1 to 12. Whether they bring the party to you or provide Upper East Side space, your party’s a guaranteed smash hit with 14 theme selections!

Bowlmor Lanes Bowl the kids over with fun at Bowlmor Lanes. The Times Square location showcases 50 lanes and exclusive New York City history. Book your upcoming party and let the event team get the ball rolling.

apple seeds With convenient locations in Chelsea and the Upper West Side, apple seeds offers customized birthday parties for children up to 5 years of age. The Ultimate Party includes room to roam with the entire playground reserved for your guests.

Broadway Birthday Bashes At The PIT (The Peoples Improv Theater) Broadway Birthday Bashes, the official birthday party division of The Peoples Improv Theater, creates musicals inspired by your birthday boy or girl. Packages can include backstage passes to meet the performers, snow cones and face painting.

The Art Farm in the City Book your party at The Art Farm in The City. The only indoor petting zoo in NYC. Children will cuddle with chinchillas, pet rabbits, hold scaly lizards & have a bird perch on their arm. We kick it off with Disco Dancing or Circle Time for the younger ones. Then the children create amazing art projects, mingle with the critters in our indoor farm, and end the party with food and cake. Choose from a variety of all-inclusive packages and theme parties which include Mini Chef, Mad Science, Farm Animals, Princess/ Pirates & more. Appropriate for ages 2-8 years.

Bronx Zoo Go wild with a Bronx Zoo birthday party celebration. Available for ages 2 to 12, parties include a private room, exhibit tour and up-close interaction with some of the most beloved zoo residents. Parties held from October to early June. Central Park Zoo It’s a jungle out there, and your child can celebrate as king or queen for a day at the Central Park Zoo. From meeting zookeepers to feeding sea lions, party packages are sure to keep guests roaring with excitement! Chelsea Piers Chelsea Piers at Pier 61 delivers endless party possibilities. Featuring The Field House, Golf Club, Sky Rink and 300 New York, parents can choose from rock climbJuly 2012 | New York Family


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BIG TIP: PARTY SUPPLIES & FAVORS State News has made themselves party store supreme with their funhouse of supplies, favors, toys and other festive tchotchkes. Take a child with you, and see how hard it is to leave. Other city stores known for their party stock include Jack’s 99 Cent Store and Party City. With party favors foremost in mind, Pearl River Mart is a good place for items with an Asian flair; Economy Candy is great for historical yummies; and one idea you can never go wrong with is a children’s book bought in bulk from Barnes & Noble. If by some miracle you haven’t waited until the last minute to pull off your kid’s party, you can go shop at Oriental Trading—a classic source for fun, silly, affordable kids toys. State News has three locations on Upper East Side (1243 Third Avenue; 112 East 86th Street; 1215 Second Avenue; 212-8318010); Jack’s 99 Cent Store (; Party City (; Pearl River Mart (; Economy Candy (; Barnes & Noble (barnesandnoble. com); Oriental Trading (

ing, golf, ice skating, bowling and more.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday at CMOM! Whether your child is turning 1 or 10 years old, CMOM will create a memorable extravaganza just for you! Enthusiastic educators, musicians and artists lead the fun with fantastic art projects, music and adventure. All Birthday Parties Include: Invitations, Decorations, A personalized cake from Magnolia Bakery, Pizza and juice, Party favors. Admission for you and all your birthday guests to CMOM for the whole day. For a free consultation, contact Katie at 212-721-1223 x 219. Children’s Museum of the Arts The art of celebration comes alive for birthdays at Children’s Museum of the Arts in the South Village. Party times are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for children ages 1 to 14. Select a package or rent out the entire museum.


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Citibabes Build it and they will come! Citibabes Soho allows parents to build their perfect party—and the staff takes care of the rest. From 90 minutes to 2 hours, kids can enjoy live music and fun in a 1,500-squarefoot playroom.

Color Me Mine Tap into your child’s artistic side with a birthday party at Color Me Mine in Tribeca. With more than 100 items to choose from, partygoers design and paint their own masterpieces, creating a lasting memory for years to come. Columbus Gym You’ll tumble for an energetic party at Columbus Gym on the Upper West Side. 90-minute parties cater to children ages 1-12. Supervised by USGF certified staff, gym time includes bars, beams, rings and trampoline. Cozy’s Cuts for Kids Girls just want to have fun at Cozy’s Cuts for Kids with three convenient Manhattan locations. Glam it up with one of four birthday packages featuring manicures and makeup, or get the Glam-To-Go at a venue of your choice. The Craft Studio The Craft Studio is famous for its magical birthday parties, toy and candy shop, classes, workshops, after school programs, parties to go, and special events. The best destination for kids in NYC all served up with an amazing staff that will keep kids smiling bigger each time they come. All of our programs and events are run with TLC and a wonderful touch that is uniquely The Craft Studio. Come visit a one of a kind NYC neighborhood gem!

The Craft Studio Dave & Buster’s It’s Game Day every day at Dave and Buster’s Times Square. Birthday packages are available for groups of 10 or more with special menus, game cards, and unlimited video game upgrades. Plus, your child scores with a D&B gift! Discovery Programs An integral part of New York for more than three decades, Discovery Programs offers eight interactive party themes for children ages 1 to 14. Reserve the gym, ballroom or classroom for a Friday or Sunday celebration. Dylan’s Candy Bar You’ll feel like you’ve won the Golden Ticket with a birthday party celebration at Dylan’s Candy Bar in Midtown. Build your own or choose from Sugar Babies or Sweetie Pie Parties including a popcorn or cotton candy machine. Sweet! East Side Tae Kwon Do At East Side Tae Kwon Do, children learn techniques to break boards, kick and punch, and then actually cut birthday cake using a real Samurai sword. Kids can chop their way through the big day! East Side Yoga Eat, Play, Love with a yoga birthday party at East Side Yoga. Zen party packages for 12 guests include jewelry making, cupcake decorating and age-appropriate yoga classes. ExerBlast Named NYC’s Best Kids Gym, ExerBlast, is new, cool and an out of this world choice for birthdays, after school and holiday camps. In this video-game continued on page 48

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take the show on road and come to you!

inspired space, old-fashioned fun and fitness get a tech savvy twist. Here, kids are their own exercise avatars on a mission to save planet Botania. The unique workout mixes state of the art technology with creative play and adventure. Parents feel great as kids have a Blast playing “inside the game”, gaining power points, earning rewards, having fun and keeping fit! Whether kids are scaling NYC’s only rotating rock wall or performing balancing acts on the slack line, these and other high-energy obstacle course challenges keep kids’ hearts pounding. As Blasters progress to different levels of “the game,” the exercise and fun just keep increasing at ExerBlast. Fantasma Magic Abracadabra! An award-winning Fantasma Magic birthday party will amaze family and friends. The birthday child becomes the magician’s assistant and party guests get to participate in a 45-minute magic show. Four unique options fit every budget. Located in Midtown. FAO Schwarz Start spreading the news about your FAO Schwarz celebration at the Fifth Ave flagship store. The FAO Toy soldier greets guests, guiding them to the second floor private party room. Event planners ensure big fun, like piano dancing! The Gaga Center Your kids will go gaga on the Upper East Side for a 90-minute birthday party filled with high energy, plenty of room to roam, music and the game of gaga. Packages can include edibles, a live DJ and photographer. Galli Theater A birthday extravaganza! In the heart of the Midtown, Galli Theater puts on two-hour shows for all ages. Choose from four package deals or ask them to


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Get Coiffed These stylists make house calls, transforming your average birthday party into a hair-raising event! Choose from a Rocker Girl party or Giggles and Girlfriends, with the option to create professional photographs and music videos. Gymtime Rhythm & Glues What time is it? Gymtime! Featuring exciting party themes and activities like Tae Kwon Do, guests are sure to get a kick out your birthday boy or girl’s special day. Parties are 1.5 hours long on the Upper East Side. Hi Art! Want an authentic New York experience? Host a Hi Art! Arty Party at this 2,500-square-foot Chelsea studio and gallery. Kids build candy sculptures or improvise to live music with artistic flair. Artisanal catering option available. Home Cooking New York What’s cooking in Greenwich Village and Chelsea? Your next birthday party with Home Cooking New York! Rent a fully equipped culinary studio or cook up a storm in your own kitchen. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum If you feel the need for speed, book an action-packed birthday party at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum at Pier 86. Select from five party themes and Silver, Gold and Platinum packages. The JCC in Manhattan Party space is available ranging from 425 to 6,000 square feet at The JCC in Manhattan. Sports birthday parties are also available for children ages 2-12 Fridays and Sundays. Located on the Upper West Side. Jodi’s Gym Encourage your child to flex their birthday muscles at Jodi’s Gym on the Upper East Side. Private parties with an attentive

staff allow you the opportunity to relax and mingle with guests. Extras range from piñatas to art to healthy snacks.

Karma Kids Yoga Karma Kids Yoga Birthday parties are unique, age appropriate and include basic and challenging poses, creative breathing techniques, fun yoga games and relaxation time with hand and foot massages. Choose a fun theme from our basic party package or go with one of our signature specialties: Pajama Yoga, CircusYoga, Butterfly Yoga, Yoga Spa Party, Downward Doll Yoga and Yoga Mat Painting. This is a party that your child will never forget! Kids at Art The MOST creative, fun and personalized birthday parties are at Kids at Art, where there are a variety of art projects to choose from in a private art studio, which is all yours for an hour and a half! Projects can be tailor-made for your child or you can choose from a variety of others. New Art and Karaoke/Disco parties coming in September to their newest location! Kids at Work A variety of drop-off classes are offered for babies and tots up to age five at this center in Chelsea, which focuses on educational policies taken from Bank Street and Montessori systems. Try a sensory music or art class, learn how to play soccer with Super Soccer Stars, whip up some goodies with Taste Buds Kitchen, or toddle around a toddler ballet class. Sun Sessions are also offered at a local park, incorporating music, movement, stories and songs. continued on page 50

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Let Victorian Gardens set the stage for your child’s next birthday party. With thrilling rides and a hassle free experience for the parents, Victorian Gardens is the perfect venue for a memorable celebration!

PARTY PACKAGES INCLUDE: Admission and Unlimited Rides for the Children Located at One Free Adult Admission per Child Wollman Rink In Central Park One hour of Private Seating Time Enter 59th St. & 6th Avenue Food/Beverages for the Children Party Host 212.982.2229 Party Favor for each Child “Happy Birthday”themed paper goods NYFamilyadTLB.pdf



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Kids In Sports Coaches instruct groups of boys and girls ages 2 and up at many different Manhattan locations (Kids In Sports class locations or one of your own - indoor or outdoor). Party size is dependent on location, but lasts 90 minutes and is jam packed with sports activities and refreshments. Choose from Baseball, Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Floor Hockey, or Basketball and ramp up the excitement with various other group games. Food is not supplied, but exceptional party service is a guarantee. Kidville Whether it’s a Rockin’ Railroad Birthday Bash or a Fairy Princess Party, Kidville’s got your little ones covered. Birthday children choose out of 19 themes to bring ten friends to enjoy. Satisfy kids’ hunger for food and fun at one of seven New York locations. Let’s Dress Up! Let’s Dress Up offers five party choices on the Upper East Side, such as a Red Carpet Party, with the Mermaid Tea Party as a 2012 summer special. Costumes, favors and birthday banners delight children. Liberty Science Center Birthday guests enjoy all-day admission to exhibit floors, cake and parking vouchers. With hide-and-seek, the Touch Tunnel maze, digital graffiti and more, kids ages one to 12 can enjoy an activitypacked weekend party at the Jersey City Liberty Science Center. Little Maestros Boogie down to original Little Maestros music, story time and puppet shows. Talented teachers lead the birthday bashes at various Manhattan locations and use topof-the-line instruments. Loop of the Loom Six to 12 weavers can take designs home after a Loop of the Loom birthday on the Upper East Side. Suggested for ages 6 and up, children make homemade weaves or felt creations under the guidance of an instructor. Madame Alexander At Madame Alexander’s historic Up-


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per West Side location, birthday children can participate in create-a-doll workshops, tea parties or other doll-related activities like shopping and watching doll creation. Party coordinators personalize events to include cake and other treats.

McBurney YMCA Book a Saturday or Sunday birthday party room at McBurney YMCA for up to 20 guests. One package for 16 guests offers a one-hour activity such as gym sports, swimming, crafts, face painting or playing in the indoor playground.

Madame Tussauds Madame Tussauds spans 85,000 square feet and houses more than 200 wax figures. The Times Square venue houses a 4D theater and SCREAM! experience. Packages for 4-year-olds and up can include Wax Hands, a personal photographer and concession voucher.

Moey’s Music Party A guitarist or the entire Moey band entertains youngsters at birthdays full of music, instruments and party favors. Celebrations include a custom song, puppet show, maracas and more.

Mad Science Kids ages three to 12 can interact for about an hour making cotton candy, bubble potions or launching rockets. Mad Science provides goody bags and accepts any size group.

Moomah Kiosk Choose from the Standard or Full Shebang to celebrate a birthday. Wholesome meals and playtime are paired with Story Pirates, an award-winning improvisation group. Certain weekdays or weekends are open and extras include a balloon artist, goodie bags and a photographer. MoonSoup Take two hours at MoonSoup to get artsy and musical. Pizza and juice fills about 15 kids’ bellies as a party leader entertains at the Midtown location. Party invites, tableware, setup and cleanup are provided.

Make Meaning Celebrate creativity at Make Meaning with a party focused on making glassware, cakes, ceramics and more on the Upper East or West Sides. The private events space features two Creative Experiences of the birthday boy or girl’s choice: a main event and a side show. With a custom cake, pizza, juice, balloons, and decorations—plus VIP passes for all guests to return!—it will be a birthday to remember. Add ons also available, like a glitter tattoo artist or swag bags. Manhattan Movement & Arts Center Choose from The Amazing Magic Party or The Freckle-taining Party at the Upper West Side’s Manhattan Movement & Arts Center. Depending on the selection, enjoy a private party run by staff with meet-andgreets, ticket discounts, Freckleface posters and silly bands.

Moving to the Beat Batman, drama, music & movement and puppets characterize a birthday at Moving to the Beat—depending on theme choice. Play games and interact with the animated singer Robert the Guitar Guy. Parties for 3-year-olds and under are available, as well. Museum of the City of New York Piece of Cake Parties and the museum team up to present four customized celebrations, each 90 minutes long, for up to 20 children. Invites, balloons, pizza, cake and more come standard. Themes include Taxis & Trains Adventure and Super Skyscraper Caper. My Gym UWS Your child is the star of the party when you celebrate their birthday at My Gym UWS. We custom design each party to continued on page 52

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incorporate your child’s favorite age-appropriate games, activities, rides, songs, puppets and more! We deliver an unmatched level of energy and excitement and provide the right combination of structured activities and free play so that every child is guaranteed to have a blast! Several packages and features are available including over 30 themes, food, party favors and more. For all parties your family and guests enjoy exclusive use of our entire facility. New York Hall of Science Boasting New York’s largest Science Playground as well as other activities like mini golf and magic, the Super Science Birthday party at the New York Hall of Science is fun for all. A party includes exhibit tours, interactive activities and demonstrations. Favors and food included. New York Kids Club With locations on the East and West sides as well as in Brooklyn, you’re never far from a party at New York Kids Club. Choose from a Basic or an All-Inclusive package with themes like Hip Hop Happening, Spectacular Science Party, Adventures in Storyland, Broadway Birthday and X-treme Birthday. New York Transit Museum Enjoy a peek at New York’s transit past with a birthday party at the New York Transit Museum. Vintage cars, a birthday turnstile and even a bus driver’s seat for guests to sit in accompany party activities like Design a Vehicle, Make a Mosaic and Scavenger Hunt. mta/museum/#birthday Peridance Capezio Center Birthday parties are offered on Sunday from 11am-1pm. Guests arrive and are treated to a 45-minute dance class in styles including Ballet, African, Hip Hop, Salsa and many more. You provide the decorations and food and the center provides props, dance games and fun activities. Poppyseed Pre-Nursery At Poppyseed Pre-Nursery, throw the perfect birthday party for your baby, toddler or two-year old and all of his friends. In a warm and nurturing


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environment, with a space that feels like a large living room, the party goers will sing, dance and do arts and crafts. Queens County Farm Museum For a farm birthday party, look no further than the Queens County Farm, offering children’s birthday parties from April to October for little ones ages 1 to 12. A full service party incorporates tractor drawn hayrides, animal feeding and a farmyard tour. Pizza, cake and favors included. Reebok Sports Club/NY Boasting one of the largest party spaces in Manhattan, this venue will send out invitations for your child’s party and provide food and decorations. Entertainment and activities provided at extra charge. Set up and clean up provided. The Scholastic Store With 15 custom birthday-party packages ranging from Space Shindig to Pajama Party to Clifford’s Big Birthday Bash, the Scholastic Store in Soho has it all. Looking to create a more personalized party? Imagination Celebrations, the store’s party planning service, will work with you to make your child’s dream party a reality. Scribble Press For the creative child in your life, Scribble Press offers birthday parties at its Upper East Side studio and party lounge where children collaborate to make books, custom placemats and other projects. The birthday child receives a Birthday Wishes book written by guests. Sharkey’s Cuts For Kids Throw a glam birthday party for your daughter at Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids. Parties take place in the “Glamour Girl” dressing room where party-goers get a new hairstyle, make-up application and mini-cure. Pizza and juice provided. Slate Slate’s two-floor, spacious lounge environment holds pool tables and foosball tables galore. From dancing to games to

magicians, a party at Slate is complete with food, goody bags and invitations. Soccer by Coach Fher The best kind of party is when the kids come home exhausted! Coach Fher ensures this will happen at his one- and two-hour soccer parties. Providing a coach for every six children, Coach Fher takes care of every detail. The party ends with a family or children’s game. SPiN New York For a ping-pong party like no other, SPiN New York’s private event room includes a ping-pong table, bar (for soda and juice!), disco ball, dance floor, DJ booth and lounge area. newyork. SPORTIME Randall’s Island Randall’s Island’s state-of-the-art tennis facility will host a party for your little tennis pro, providing instruction, equipment and tennis courts complete with a party room for enjoying cake afterwards. Activities include energetic tennis games and a round robin tournament.

BIG TIP: A Birthday Cake For Every Budget Like so much else in the city, children’s birthday cakes run the gamut from modest to extravagant. Whatever their style or expense, they should all pass two simple tests: look yummy and taste yummy. For the budgetconscious, we recommend a trip to Costco or to a neighborhood bakery ( For an ice cream cake, Carvel is always wonderful (, but did you know that Häagen-Dazs offers great birthday cakes, too ( You can also keep the cost somewhat in check by ordering cakes at Food Emporium ( As we slide up the extravagance scale, there are many shades of birthday cake deliciousness and creativity to be had at Magnolia Bakery, Two Little Red Hens, Alice’s Tea Cup and Creative Cakes (magnoliabakery. com;; alicesteacup. com; And don’t get us started on all the great cupcakes options in town; we’re sure you know at least a few of them.

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Sports Club/LA For Kids Only at Reebok Sports Club/ NY & The Sports Club/LA-Upper East Side is a Club within a Club for children. FKO hosts birthday parties customized to match your child’s interests. Choose from a variety of exciting activities ranging from sports, rock climbing, toddler gym, dance, movement, art, music and more. StoryTime By Design Offering 15 different theme birthday parties, StoryTime by Design provides a unique story hour experience. The facilitators here will lead your child and guests through a storytelling that makes use of art, music, puppetry and dramatic play.

Super Soccer Stars Turn your child’s birthday into an unforgettable soccer extravaganza! You pick the time and place, and we take care of the rest. Party packages include 60 minutes of soccer and 30 minutes for food, cake and party festivities. Customize your party with Super Soccer Stars ball as favors, t-shirts, catering, personalized evites, balloons, a surprise visit from Kick the Mascot and more! Parties available at one of our many locations, in the park, in your home—you decide! TADA! Youth Theater Celebrate like a star! Choose from three different packages for your child’s birthday where we come to you for an interactive song & dance soiree or you come to us for a show or even a command performance! For more information email or visit Taste Buds Get your child into the kitchen with

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one of Taste Buds’ perfectly planned parties. Taste Buds has designed age appropriate parties for children ages 2-7 or 8-14. Picture your child and friends all suited up in aprons ready to cook dishes such as Cupcake Challenge, Iron Chef Mac Attack or Brunch Bonanza. TLB Music With a playroom boasting a clubhouse, rock climbing mountain, play kitchen and a transportation corner, TLB Music offers music parties and free play parties. Parties are centered upon themes like Jungle Boogie, Barnyard Bash and Rock and Roll, or you can tailor the party to your child’s favorite songs and musical tastes. Tie Dye Town Host a groovy party at Tie Dye Town where guests will make t-shirts, artwork or bracelets. With party titles like Super Hero Tie Dye party, World’s Greatest Princess Tie Dye party and Tie Dye Slime party, how can you go wrong? Tie Dye cupcakes and cake as well as tattoos round out the list of unique party amenities. Tiger Schulmann’s Karate Tiger Schulmann’s Karate will have your child’s party guests punching, kicking and blocking their way through a funfilled birthday. Guests receive introductory course certificates to show their accomplishments. It’s a healthy way to celebrate! Twinkle Party The ultimate ballerina party takes place at Twinkle Party where guests dress up in tutus and take a ballet class. An interactive classical ballet story as well as a tiara for the birthday girl will all be included. Parties are held for up to 10 participating ballerinas. Vanderbilt YMCA At the Vanderbilt YMCA, conveniently located in Midtown East, parents can choose from pre-planned sports, fitness and pool parties. Parents supply food, beverages and decorations. Looking for a different twist? The Y’s party planner will also work with you to plan a custom party that fits your child’s interests.

Victorian Gardens Bring your child’s party to the center of it all at Central Park’s Victorian Gardens Amusement Park, where party guests receive day-long unlimited ride passes! Party-goers will celebrate amidst over 30,000 feet of rides, games and attractions, before chowing down on treats like chicken tenders, turkey sandwiches , hot dogs, cookies and fruit. Everyone will take home a party favor. Additional entertainment can be added, while cake and photo extras are available through outside companies. West Side Taekwondo Available for parties after 3:30pm on Saturdays and after 1:00pm on Sundays, West Side Taekwondo will offer a twohour party complete with introductory lesson, children’s games and demonstration of forms, sparring and board breaks. West Side YMCA Birthday parties at the West Side have been described as truly epic. Experts in giving your child a special day, they have created a range of party packages including Roof Top parties, Pool parties, Drama parties, Sports parties and Dance parties. Teens can also have a party in the teen center, and there is space for parties in the Early Child Exploration Center for ages 1-6. Yogi Beans For a yoga party that will have all of your child’s friends in knots, head to Yogi Beans’ new Upper East Side studio for one of the fabulous birthday party packages including “Spa-tacular” Yogi Beans Birthday Bash and “Paint Your Face Off” Yogi Beans Birthday Bash. Each package allows for child-centered yoga activities followed by time to celebrate with pizza and drinks.

CLOWNS Each child who attends Looney Lenny’s hilarious, interactive magic show (with juggling!) receives their own clown-o-rific name and balloon animal.

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in paint. Her ability to charm the little ones while she works helps to keep them comfortable with the painting process. MAGICIANS The Amazing Max is so beloved; he even has his own Off-Broadway show for mega-magic families. His high-energy, interactive show blends comedy and juggling. Cardone The Ultimate Vaudeville Magician’s act includes escape artistry, ventriloquism and classic scarf, coin and card tricks. Juliet Schaefer Jeske’s talents include face painting, balloon twisting, stilts, silly magic and playing the ukulele and accordion.

Ages 3-7 will fold into fits of laughter at Gary the Great’s comedic magic act. He adapts his show based on audience response, so no two performances are alike.

Sammie and Tudie’s clowning philosophy: life is better when you’re laughing. This comedic, magic circus show is ideal for ages three and up.

Magic Al’s sleight of hand tricks will stupefy even grown-ups and his goofy antics keep kids in stitches throughout every performance.

FACE PAINTING Not your typical face painting experience, the award-winning Faces by Derrick will make your kids, ages three and up, wish to never wash their faces again. Girls especially love the signature unicorn design of Face Art by Melissa. This mother of two does fabulous face art and gorgeous glitter tattoos. The owner of Hearts Face Painting & Balloon Art, “Hearts”, brings both creative art forms to birthday environments. Kiki’s Faces and Balloons is an all-encompassing entertainment company offering face painting, balloon sculpting, “silly people” and princesses. Party Faces By Rachel’s namesake has a background that’s practically a Ph.D.


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Mario the Magician’s 45-minute set is aimed at kids ages 4-11 who are sure to go nuts for his silly antics and ageold slapstick humor. You can even add on a magic lesson to the end of his act. Kids ages 3-8 (and their parents) will adore Silly Billy. This self-proclaimed “comedian for children” uses magic, balloon twisting and lots of jokes to drum up laughter. MUSICIANS Led by Audra Tsanos, Audra Rox’s family-friendly band is just right for Big Apple birthdays. Audra arrives at your party location ready to sing songs made for the city, incorporates the birthday child in the music and will have every guest jamming along on percussion props. Brett Band is the brainchild of early childhood music educator Brett Rothenhaus, formerly of Little Maestros. His

original music, along with kiddie classics, make for a playlist that gets everybody on their feet. Looking for a royal way to celebrate your little girl’s birthday? Moey’s Music Party brings the pompoms, maracas and parachute for 45 minutes of fun. Try the Princess Party Package filled with boas, bling and boogieing. Meredith LeVande, perhaps better known as Monkey Monkey Music, specializes in upbeat, original tunes for little ones. Her parachute-, instrument- and bubble-infused party shows instantly get all ages grooving. mr. RAY takes a mix-it-up approach to birthday gigs. Beginning with a concert and transitioning into a dance party, the festivities end with kids stepping up to sing solos on the mic. His music is a mix of originals, kids classics and some classic rock for the parents. (You may recognize his rockin’ style from the songs for seeds curriculum.) A one-man band, Rockin’ With Andy makes kids and their parents want to shake their groove things. Mom and Dad love Andy’s acoustic guitar versions of grownup hits and the little ones go bananas for his kids classics. Andy also brings shakers, bells, scarves and animal puppets for maximum rocking. SPECIALTY If you can dream it, Nick the Balloonatic can make it. At it for 30 years, Nick’s handiwork includes flower bouquets, superheroes, monkeys on palm trees, top hats and much more. Wendy The Pipe Cleaner Lady is a category unto herself. Girls adore her tiaras, boys covet her spider creations and even celebrities like Martha Stewart want her pipe cleaner flower rings. For more birthday party planning tips, visit

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listen Learn BY Tali RoseNBlaTT-CoheN What is more quintessentially New York than spending the afternoon at a history museum, walking through an art gallery or exploring an interactive science exhibit? Manhattan’s myriad museums are increasingly focusing on family-friendly programming and events, taking our appetite for art and culture to a new level.

American Museum of Natural History More than just home to the dinosaur bones (though those fossils are something to behold!), AMNH boasts a range of programs and exhibits, from mystery tours through the museum to huge IMAX presentations. Plus, they host the largest meteor on display and a mini rainforest. Brooklyn Children’s Museum The original children’s museum (founded in 1899) and the first LEED certified green museum, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum gives children the chance to experience the world at exactly

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their level, whether crawling inside a pond aquarium, walking within a 360 degree mirror or learning about their neighbors in World Brooklyn. Brooklyn Museum Introduce your child to the rich artistic heritage of world cultures at one of the largest art museums in the country. Offering something for everyone, Meet the Museum is a program for toddlers, Arty Facts is geared for kids 4-7 and older kids (and their parents) can take classes in the Gallery/ Studio Program. Children’s Museum of the Arts With its state-of-the-art Media Lab & Sound Booth, Clay Bar and Fine Art Studio, CMA is dedicated to extending the benefits of art to all children. The museum has exhibits meant to delight and inspire kids as well as a wide range of classes— including one for physically disabled children and their siblings. Children’s Museum of Manhattan With interactive exhibits to help children learn about themselves and their culturally diverse world, CMOM is committed to healthy living, as demonstrated in their EatPlaySleep exhibit. Home to Adventures with Dora and Diego, and the popular City Splash exhibit, this hub offers parent workshops in addition to children’s classes.

The City’s Diverse Museums Are Gearing Their Programs And Exhibits Toward Families—From Arts And Culture To Science And Technology

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

DiMenna Children’s History Museum at the New York Historical Society Your budding historian (ages 8-13) will learn about the childhoods of various New Yorkers over the past three centuries at this Upper West Side museum. Kids can become art detectives or learn to embroider as part of weekend family programming. El Museo Del Barrio Celebrate Latino traditions with New York’s leading Latino cultural institution. Children will love events like the annual Three Kings Day Parade and free, funfilled activities on The Day of the Dead. continued on page 60 July 2012 | New York Family


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Guggenheim Internationally renowned for modern and contemporary art, the Guggenheim offers Family Sundays with tours led by museum educators and intended to engage children ages 3-10. Or, go anytime and borrow their family activity pack with suggested activities and games. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Come aboard one of the most successful ships in US history. The Exploreum is designed for children of all ages to learn about water, space, air and life at sea. Future pilots can blast off in flight simulators and daredevils will love the all new 4-D Motion Ride Theater. Japan Society Dedicated to deepening mutual understanding between the US and Japan, family programming is organized around some of Japan’s annual festivities and allows children to learn about Japanese history and culture through storytelling, crafts and celebrations.

The Jewish Museum Children experience Jewish art and culture through art projects, gallery tours, music classes, concerts and the archeology zone where they get hands-on with ancient artifacts. Sundays are family days with drop-in workshops.

Liberty Science Center It’s power to the people! Learn about green energy and how to save power at home in the new “Got Power?” exhibit. Race a solar car on a large-scale track; play solar tabletop hockey; and pedal to set off LED fireworks. Explore the outdoor Wildlife Challenge obstacle course, navigate the pitch-black Touch Tunnel, visit live animals, see science presentations, and explore the new In the Dark exhibit on nocturnal life. Enjoy a day of fun and learning!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Storytime in Nolen library, Sunday Studio and Start with Art at the Met are just a few of the Met’s kid-friendly offerings. The Met also offers a program for families with children who are blind or partially sighted and one for children over 6 with learning and developmental disabilities. The Morgan Library & Mueseum Originally the private library of Pierpont Morgan, the Morgan Library & Museum now houses all forms of manuscripts, early books and prints. Keep an eye out for family-friendly events like the Spring Family Fair or book-making workshops. Museum of Arts & Design MAD explores the intersection of art, design and craft. Kids will be especially interested in the Sarah and Seth Glickenhaus Education Center—an open studio where visitors of all ages can watch the artist at work and participate in the creative process.

BIG TIP: Free Museum Days In their efforts to lure active families to their galleries and exhibits, many local museums offer free events and family days. Here’s where you can take advantage of it all. Target Free Thursdays At The Museum Of Chinese In America Every Thursday from 11am until 9pm, go to MOCA for free! Target First Fridays At The Children’s Museum Of Manhattan Stop by CMOM the first Friday of the month from 5 until 8pm for free admission. Free Admission At The New York Hall of Science From September through June, visitors are admitted for free on Fridays 2-5pm and Sundays 10-11am. Target Free Friday Nights At MoMA Friday nights 4-8pm are a “free for all” at MoMA. Free Fridays At The Museum Of The Moving Image Fridays 4-8pm are free entry at The Museum of the Moving Image. Target First Saturdays At The Brooklyn Museum From 5 until 11pm, thousands of museum-goers can enjoy free arts and entertainment programs. Super Sabado At El Museo Del Barrio On the third Saturday of select months, visitors can tour El Museo del Barrio from 11am to 8:30pm.


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New Museum First Saturdays For Families Offering hands-on programs designed for families with children 5-15 years old, the New Museum opens its doors on the first Saturday of the month to conduct educational programs and activities, and let fams explore. Free First Saturdays At The Brooklyn Children’s Museum Museum admission is free 5-11pm on the first Saturday of every month, except September. Free Saturdays At The Jewish Museum Explore the Jewish Museum for free on Saturdays from 11am until 5:45pm. “Pay What You Wish” At The Children’s Museum Of The Arts, The Museum Of Arts And Design, The Whitney And The Guggenheim Choose your own adventure when it comes to admission price at the Children’s Museum of the Arts on Thursdays 4-6pm. Pay what you wish Thursdays 6-9pm at the Museum of Arts and Design; Fridays 6-9pm at the Whitney; and Saturdays 5:457:45pm at the Guggenheim. Be sure to check the museum websites regularly for updated schedules and free programming.

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Museum of Chinese in America MOCA is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history and culture of Chinese Americans. Their Living Arts programs, for children 5-12, uses art to help youth gain a deeper appreciation for Chinatown and the Chinese American experience. Performances, book readings and games are meant to entertain. Museum of the City of New York Helping to showcase the city’s diverse heritage, the Frederick A.O. Schwarz Children’s Center hosts programming to teach NYC history. Permanent collections at the museum include On the Move—a delightful installation of miniature toy vehicles. Museum of the Moving Image It doesn’t take much to interest kids in all things television, film and digital media! Weekend screenings of family-friendly films, as well as workshops where children learn and create, make this museum a rainy day hit.   Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) You may not be surprised to learn that MoMA offers interactive workshops and gallery talks for families, but you may be delighted to discover that the museum offers free screenings of new and classic family films, complete with a discussion led by a MoMA educator.    National Museum of the American Indian Learn about the original inhabitants of New York at this museum in Bowling Green. Available by appointment, tours of the Haudenosaunee Discovery Room are geared for hands-on learning for children and families.   New Museum New York’s only dedicated museum for contemporary art, the New Museum offers First Saturdays with Families—a chance for fams to explore the exhibits—tailored for kids ages 5-15. The museum also hosts a Block Party in the summer.    New York City Fire Museum Fans of big, red trucks will love seeing the firefighting gear of the past and present. The museum features five permanent 

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exhibits, including “Tools and Uniforms” and a tribute to the 343 members of New York City’s bravest who lost their lives on 9/11. New York City Police Museum The Junior Officers Discovery Zone allows children 3-10 to learn all about police in a fun setting. With offerings for younger kids (including a police car with buckets and sponges to wash it!) and for older kids (a crime scene observation activity), children will walk away with a greater appreciation for New York City’s boys in blue.   New York Hall of Science This Queens educational hotspot engages the curiosity of children of all ages. Family workshops allow the whole clan to experiment together, while Preschool Place is an exciting, multi-sensory destination for little ones.   New York Transit Museum  Fans of transit will learn how the subway system was created; all children will appreciate the weekend programs incorporating science, art and books. With a regular story hour for tots and an afterschool program for kids on the autism spectrum, this Brooklyn Heights museum is a must for all city children.   Queens County Farm Museum New York City’s only historical working farm is also a museum open year-round. Hosting such events as the Annual Queens County Fair in September, a pumpkin patch in October and Wildlife Weekends in November, there’s always something exciting going on at the farm. Rubin Museum of Art The art of the Himalayas may not be what first comes to mind when thinking kid-centric, but the Rubin Museum makes family programming a priority. Drop-in workshops, family art labs and family days and festivals will introduce your child to the joys of art—and yaks! Scandinavian Museum Dedicated to preserving the history of Scandinavians who settled on the East Coast, this museum hosts a wide array of programming, from an annual essay

contest for 4th-6th graders to the Danish Mardi Gras in February to Viking Fest in May. Skyscraper Museum Celebrate our vertical city with a visit to the Skyscraper Museum. Educators engage kids in topics of urbanism, architecture and engineering with family programs like Sidewalk Art, Skyscraper Physics and Trash Factory. South Street Seaport Museum At this part of the Museum of the City of New York, visitors can learn about the history of our city and families can participate in a range of activities, from making and decorating model boats to learning to tie different knots.    Staten Island Children’s Museum Play chess with life-sized pieces or watch butterflies being born—the exhibits in the Staten Island Children’s Museum are sure to amaze. On weekends, families can participate in the Up4Art teaching artist series, create holiday crafts or touch exotic snakes.   Tenement Museum Once home to over 7,000 working class immigrants, the Tenement Museum in Manhattan’s Lower East Side offers walking tours of the neighborhood and various themed tours of the building, including one from a 14-year-old past resident (a costumed interpreter).   The Toy Museum of NY After attending an interactive show at Queen Marlene’s Toy Theatre, tour the museum’s collection of dolls and toys of the past.   The Whitney Museum of American Art “Crying babies welcome!” is the tagline of Stroller Tours at the Whitney, offered for new moms and dads on select Fridays when the museum is closed to the public. Art workshops for children of various ages are also held. For more family fun adventures in the city, visit events. July 2012 | New York Family


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2012 Drama Desk Award Winner “for providing enchanting, sophisticated theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater in young people”


Art: Tom Slaughter

TICKET ON-SALE DATES FOR THE 2012-13 SEASON Discounted 3-Show Memberships tickets go on sale July 17 Full price single tickets go on sale August 7 Photos: Patrick Baldwin, Tony Lewis, Brian Megini



Photos: Paul Aresu, Joan Marcus, and Craig Schwartz


The new musical from Tony Award- winning creators of AVENUE Q, IN THE HEIGHTS and NEXT TO NORMAL ®


™ and © Bring It On The Musical LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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theater & live performance



From Theaters Devoted To Children’s Plays To Classic Venues With Family-Friendly Operas And Ballets, There’s Always A Show-Stopping Performance To Be Seen In Our Wonderful City By Sarah alBert New York City is the theater capital of the world, but taking your kids to a show may seem daunting—between the silence requirement and complex plotlines. Lucky for you, NYC is a place where many Broadwaylike theaters cater directly to your little one. We’ve compiled a list of kid-friendly theaters, plays and dance performances that your family will actually enjoy attending.

CHILDREN’S THEATER 13th Street Repertory This theater offers many exciting shows for kids ages three and up. From well-known fairytales to interactive shows, there’s something for everyone. You can even have a birthday party or take acting classes!

and turns them into original musicals. Get there an hour early for the pre-show arts workshop that helps children understand theater better. Manhattan Children’s Theatre This theater produces adaptations of both classical and contemporary books. The shows are for all ages, but the Little Tales series is specifically for preschool aged children.

Literally Alive Children’s Theatre Literally Alive takes children’s books

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Puppetworks These puppet adaptations of children’s favorite tales are whimsical, fun and fascinating for children ages three and up. This summer, they’ve turned The Three Wishes, The Ugly Duckling and The Three Little Pigs into a single show.

Making Books Sing This theater is all about education using music, puppetry and physical comedy. Catch the summer production of “If You Really Love Polar Bears…,” a show about a young boy who’s obsessed with polar bears and learns through a magic journey how his lifestyle affects animal habitats.

Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre This puppet theater produces fairytales for children ages 3 through 9. Catch this summer’s performance of “Little Miss Muffet’s Monster-Sitting Service,” the story of what happens when Molly Muffet starts a babysitting service with an old friend.

Patricia Baldwin

Children’s Theatre Company Kids take center stage at this company where all shows include child performers. The goal is to show children that they can be the voice of positive change. childrens Galli Theater For more than 25 years, the Galli Theater has been bringing fairytales to life for children of all ages. Actors encourage the audience to interact and get on stage. For multilingual families, plays are offered in English, French and German.

The Paper Bag Players The Paper Bag Players perform original musicals geared for children ages 4 through 9, based on a child’s everyday life.

The New Victory Theater This theater selects programs that help educate and inspire the audience. They put on shows for children as young as two, but check the website often because each production has its own ideal age range.

TADA! Youth Theater These shows are performed by kids for family audiences. You can get your own children involved or simply enjoy the show as a fam. Their next production, “Everything About School (Almost),” is about how friendships and memories are made (July 12-August 4, 2012). Tribeca Performing Arts Center & TheatreWorks USA Tribeca Performing Arts Center offers an array of performances geared toward children and families all year round. From July 2012 | New york Family


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puppets to plays, there’s something for everyone. Plus, many of the family shows at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts are Theatreworks productions.;

“The Lion King” The Disney movie has been a Broadway hit since it opened. Between the elaborate costumes, colorful makeup, comedy and heart-warming story will find something people of all ages to love about “The Lion King.” the-lion-king “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” This adaptation of this C.S. Lewis book takes the audience to magical Narnia, where it’s always winter but never Christmas thanks to a spell cast on the land. The show runs for 45 minutes and is recommended for ages 5 and up.

Vital Children’s Theatre Vital Children’s Theater puts on engaging hour-long performances for children ages 2 through 10. The company also has weekly summer camps for kids ages 4 through 6.

BROADWAY AND OFF-BROADWAY THEATER “The Berenstain Bears LIVE!” The classic children’s series comes to life in “The Berenstain Bears LIVE! Family Matters: The Musical.” No matter what this bear family goes through, they’re in it together. This show is all about laughs, songs and the importance of family. broadway. com/shows/berenstain-bears-live-familymatters-musical Blue Man Group This literally blue trio combines theater, art and technology into a fascinatingly original performance that’s hard to describe. It’s recommended for ages 8 and up, and no one under the age of 5 is allowed into the theater. Gazillion Bubble Show This interactive show for all ages combines lasers, lights and bubbles of all shapes and sizes. Audience members can even take a picture in a bubble before and after the show.


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“Mamma Mia!” “Mamma Mia!” centers on a bride-tobe searching for her dad so he can walk her down the aisle. Set to the tune of ABBA’s greatest hits, this high-energy show will have everyone trying to resist the urge to jump up and dance. shows/mamma-mia “Mary Poppins” This famous nanny lights up the stage with the classic story and songs from the original movie. Poppins takes the children on a magical adventure to teach them, and the audience, a thing or two about life. “Newsies The Musical” Based on the Disney movie and the actual newsboy strike, this show focuses on a group of newsboys who fight back at Pulitzer and Hearst’s newspaper price hike. Good for the whole family, it has fast music, intense choreography and even a romantic plotline. “Peter and the Starcatcher” Go to Neverland in this back-story of Peter Pan and Captain Hook. With humor, the occasional song and only a few props, the show aims to stretch the audience’s imagination and is great for all ages. “The Phantom of the Opera” Broadway’s longest running show, based on the horror novel in which a deformed composer haunts an opera house,

still delivers romance, fear and excitement night after night. the-phantom-of-the-opera “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular” The holiday staple is celebrating 85 years of the Rockettes, so this season’s performances are going to be unforgettable. Fun for all ages (children under 2 don’t need a ticket), this show is sure to put even the grouchiest of Grinches in the holiday spirit. Get your tickets now for the best seats! “Sister Act” “Sister Act” is the story of an aspiring singer who ends up hiding in a convent. While she may not fit in with the nuns at first, she finds her way with the church’s choir. This family-friendly musical, based on the movie, has upbeat songs and a positive message. “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark” With intense aerial stunts, projections and a score penned by U2 musicians Bono and The Edge, this show is great for energetic fams. Just keep in mind that younger children might be scared by the evil villains. Stomp This eight-person ensemble creates music with everyday items; no real instruments allowed. It’s all about dance, rhythm and creativity. All children over the age of 5 will enjoy it. “War Horse” Set just before World War I, this dramatic play about the relationship between a teenager and his horse is meant to tug on the audience’s heartstrings. Although based on a children’s novel, it’s recommended for ages 12 and up. broadway. com/shows/war-horse “Wicked” The untold story of the Wizard of Oz, this popular show focuses on the history of the Wicked Witch of the West. Highly theatrical with stunning sets and elaborate costumes, this play is ideal for ages eight and up. continued on page 66

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Find the perfect camp for your child!

New York’s Premier Dance Center


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Photos © Jaqlin Medlock

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Symphony Space

MUSiC, DANCE AND LiVE pERFORMANCE Big Apple Circus You and your kids will be dazzled by the acts and animals that come together under the big tent during the Big Apple Circus. The show rotates through Queens, Rhode Island and Lake George, NY.

Ric Kallaher

Carnegie Hall The iconic theater brings world-renowned musicians to perform in their three halls throughout the year. The Family Concert Series on weekends is interactive and educational, with free pre-concert activities before each show. DiCapo Opera Theatre This opera house is continuing its Opera for Kids series on Saturday and Sunday mornings in the fall and into 2013. The shows are one-hour versions of operas, performed in English, and the director helps explain the plot and the genre of opera.

Little Orchestra Society This company is devoted to putting on family-friendly shows. Kids ages 3 to 5 should check out the “Lolli-Pops” shows, where they can learn about music while hanging out with characters like Buzz the Bee. For ages 6 to 12, look into the “Happy Concerts” series.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Children are welcome at all shows, but families might want to look to the interactive Jazz for Young People Concerts series to introduce their young ones to the rhythms and history of jazz.

The Metropolitan Opera This holiday presentation of “The Barber of Seville” features slapstick comedy and pure romance. Rossini’s masterpiece is abridged and sung in English at the Metropolitan Opera, making it ideal entertainment for kids and adults.

Lincoln Center The iconic theater offers every type of arts event under the sun. There are ballets, exhibits and plays for your whole family to enjoy.

New York Theatre Ballet Specifically for kids, the New York Theatre Ballet offers “Once Upon A Ballet”—engaging hour-long performances that won’t break the bank. Children can see

some of their favorite stories, like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, come to life on stage. Symphony Space Symphony Space’s Just Kidding series is just for families. Children will love the book readings, concerts and plays this company puts on. The Theater at Madison Square Garden The biggest names in pop culture come to perform at MSG. Check the website early and often to make sure you don’t miss out when your family’s favorite acts come to town!


Big Tip: Family Memberships & Ticket Deals New Yorkers will often buy season tickets to their favorite venues so that they can enjoy theater and live performance night after night. In the same spirit, many children’s theaters offer family memberships to give parents and their children discounted ticket prices. So many venues across the city offer these deals. Here are a few to get you started. All Making Books Sing members get access to pre-sales and discounts, along with other bonuses depending on the membership level. Season tickets to Manhattan Children’s Theatre range from $54


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for three shows to $68 for four shows to $80 for five shows. Buy tickets to three shows at the New Victory Theater and automatically become a member and save up to 35 percent! New York Theatre Ballet allows you to purchase a three or four show ticket package for any of their series. Prices range from $72 to $125. You’ll get deep discounts and the best seats in the house by subscribing to Symphony Space for any of their three performance series.

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Bright SightS, Big City Our Annual A-Z Guide To The City’s Most Notable Family Experiences BY GaVriella Mahpour For the same reasons that families from across the country—and around the world—choose to vacation here, local fams can feast on a remarkable diversity of kidfriendly attractions. From zoos and parks to historic landmarks and national treasures, there’s much to enjoy. And unlike tourists, we have the advantage of taking it slowly and repeating visits over the course of a childhood. Here are some of our favorites of the city’s best sights and attractions. Broadway/Times Square Times Square and Broadway’s theater district may seem daunting to navigate with children in tow, but Manhattan’s epicenter is home to the M&M store, Toys “R” Us, Hard Rock Café and the New Victory Theater, a full-time performing arts theater for kids. Not to mention, countless Broadway shows (see our Theater Guide on page 63). Brooklyn Botanic Garden The Brooklyn Botanic Garden houses The Cranford Rose Garden, The Shakespeare Garden and The Children’s Garden, where kids can grow their own crops and flowers during many family workshops. Bronx Zoo The Bronx Zoo is a must for youngsters who are animal lovers. The zoo is home to thousands of creatures such as gorillas, polar bears and lions. Be sure


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to check out the sea lion pool, the bug carousel and the exquisite butterfly garden. Brooklyn Bridge & Brooklyn Bridge Park A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge provides breathtaking views of the East River. At the end of the overpass lies Brooklyn Bridge Park, where families can enjoy fishing, boating, biking and even outdoor movie screenings. Carousels Carousels are a familiar feature in parks throughout NYC. Take a spin on Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Le Carrousel in Bryant Park, the Bug Carousel at the Bronx Zoo, the Forest Park and Flushing Meadows Carousels in Queens, and, of course, the beloved Central Park Carousel. Central Park One of the most famous public parks in the world, Central Park features a host of unique attractions including 21 playgrounds, a boathouse where visitors can rent rowboats and a children’s glade where kids can participate in storytelling, crafts and theater programs. The Central Park Zoo will delight with its small-scale yet thoroughly enjoyable menagerie of wild animals. Plus, Victorian Gardens hosts amusement rides and a bevy of entertainers

in warm months.; Chinatown Although there are many cities across the nation with Chinatown districts, Manhattan boasts one of the largest. Stop by Pearl River Mart for traditional Chinese lanterns and toys, then head to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for samples of unique flavors. City Island Located off of the Long Island Sound, City Island is the perfect day trip destination for families. Accessible via subway and bus, the island hosts the educational City Island Nautical Museum. The Cloisters Within Fort Tryon Park is the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. The museum and gardens offer highlight tours and family programs throughout the year. Coney Island Having recently undergone extensive renovation, Coney Island is more funpacked than ever. Everyone knows about the boardwalk and amusement park; however, Coney Island is also home to the New York Aquarium and the Abe Stark Ice Skating Rink.

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Dave & Buster’s Dave & Buster’s is a great option for families who are looking for rainy day fun. With locations throughout the tri-state area, this restaurant/indoor arcade offers up a sports bar menu (think nachos and wings) and hours of play with favorites like Dance Dance Revolution and billiards. Dylan’s Candy Bar Dylan Lauren, daughter of iconic designer Ralph Lauren, opened her Willy Wonka-esque candy emporium in 2001. Since then, it has become the world’s largest candy store, carrying over 5,000 kinds of sweets. Be sure to stop by the flagship store’s Candy Café for signature shakes and sundaes.

Ellis Island The famed immigration center-turnedmuseum’s self-guided exhibits such as The American Immigrant Wall of Honor and the interactive American Family Immigration History Center are ideal for teaching kids a crucial piece of NYC history. The Empire State Building Tourists and locals alike should visit this National Historic Landmark at least once. There is nothing quite like viewing the city from the 102nd floor observatory, a mere 1,250 feet above ground! Governors Island Open every weekend during the summer season, Governors Island has become the go-to destination for locals

BIG TIP: When The City Itself Is The Attraction BY SARAH GREENE Call it tourist-style. Some of the best ways to enjoy the city with kids is discovering it by land or sea, and on wheels, subway or foot. Here are some special suggestions. Circle Line Circle Line cruises offer passengers a relaxing way to view the world’s most famous skyline, without getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Catch the breathtaking sights of the Statue of Liberty at sunset or the Empire State Building’s silhouette through the steel vessel’s ceiling-reaching glass windows. Walking Tours There are many! Among our favorites for kids are food tours like Scott’s Pizza Tours, where you and your kids can taste the rich diversity of the city’s pizzerias. Food on Foot Tours has many options to satisfy even the pickiest palates—like their Ice Cream, You Scream Tour. What better way to experience New York than to bite right into the Big Apple itself?; Gray Line’s Double-Decker Bus Tours Experience the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan, the fresh greenery of Central Park and the hustle and bustle of Times Square from above street-level! Knowledgeable tour guides on double-decker busses provide information on New York’s most fascinating and historical buildings, parks and restaurants. Watson Adventures Watson Adventures presents a way for you to experience the city’s magic firsthand. With witty puzzles and challenging questions, these scavenger hunts allow you to interact with each site you encounter while learning fascinating details about the city’s history, culture and more. Bonus Tip The official guide to NYC——often has great ideas for family fun, especially in the “free” section. Check it out!

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looking for art exhibitions, concerts and fairs. Its annual Family Festival is not to be missed. Grand Central Terminal Grand Central isn’t just where bustling commuters go to catch a train. The legendary station also boasts fine dining restaurants, designer clothing stores and its very own market. Greenmarkets Located in all five boroughs, these farmers markets are a perfect way to introduce kids to locally grown produce, baked goods and food specialty items. Start at the Union Square Greenmarket for a taste of what our local growers have to offer. Hersheypark For your summer getaway, only Hershey The Sweetest Place On Earth® offers a funfilled family rush with more than 65 rides and attractions at Hersheypark® including the all-new SkyrushSM! Stay over at The Hotel Hershey®, Hershey® Lodge, or Hershey® Highmeadow Campground and beat the rush with exclusive early access to Skyrush and more than 10 rides! Book our Rush the Park package and enjoy included Park tickets! See details and book online at Historic Richmond Town Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island is NYC’s living history village and museum. Visitors can take a walking tour of the grounds, view over 30 original historic homes and watch reenactments. Hudson River Park Can’t decide what to do on a beautiful summer day? Hudson River Park has a variety of outdoor activities including mini golf, sailing, tennis, skateboarding and acting classes. Plus, families can charter boats to sail down the river, while others may prefer to fish or visit the lighthouses that dot the shore.; Ice Skating Rinks Winter wouldn’t be complete without skating in the city. Bring your own blades continued on page 70 July 2012 | New York Family


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or rent a pair from the Ice Skating Rink at Rockefeller Center, and then glide across the ice while admiring the center’s Christmas tree. Central Park’s Wollman Rink opens every winter to the delight of city children, offering lessons for skaters of all abilities at their Skating School. therinkatrockcenter. com; Imagination Playground Flagship This innovative playground park in the South Street Seaport area is the first of its kind, incorporating loose objects like buckets, shovels, burlap sacks and fabric within structured play activities. Jamaica Bay This Queens hotspot is teeming with fantastic places for kids. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is filled with over 330 bird species and offers hikes and sunset tours. Alley Pond Park’s Adventure Course will also please outdoor enthusiasts. Madame Tussauds The infamous wax museum adds new figures frequently, making this house of wax a great place to revisit (or visit for the first time). The newest additions to the museum? The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine. New York Aquarium Brooklyn’s New York Aquarium makes learning about the sea and its creatures fascinating with its Sea Cliffs where otters and seals play and its deep-ocean exhibit where sharks abound.   New York Botanical Garden Alongside the wondrous plants and flowers of its numerous ongoing exhibitions is the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, where kids can explore mazes and learn the secrets of plant growth.   The New York Public Library The NYPL has a multitude of branches across the city, with the Stephen A. Schwarzman building at 42nd Street housing the Children’s Center. The center’s circulating children’s books collection makes for hours of reading delight.


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Pelham Bay Park/ Orchard Beach The largest of New York City’s public parks, the Bronx’s Pelham Bay Park has miles of hiking trails, baseball fields and basketball courts for athletic youngsters. Beach bums will love Orchard Beach, a sandy paradise located within the park.   Prospect Park Aside from playgrounds, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park includes a zoo, horse stables, nature trails and tennis courts. Scavenger hunts for kids 8 and up turn exploring the park into an adventure. Radio City Music Hall The largest indoor theater in the world, Radio City Music Hall hosts concerts and shows all year round including the Rockettes’ “Radio City Christmas Spectacular.” The hall also offers daily backstage tours. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! The Times Square “Odditorium” is known for its collection of all things strange and surprising, but few are aware of Ripley’s Impossible LaseRace, where participants must dodge lasers as they navigate a twisty maze.   Sport Stadiums Formerly New Meadowlands Stadium, the newly crowned MetLife Stadium has become the joint home of the NFL’s Giants and Jets. During baseball season, take the opportunity to catch a game at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field. Madison Square Garden is the place to be for Knicks and Rangers games, while tennis devotees can watch matches at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.; newyork.yankees.;;; Top Of The Rock The Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center provides truly breathtaking views of Central Park and the Hudson River. Don’t forget to bring quarters for the coin-operated binoculars and a camera to capture it all.

Snug Harbor Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden is a regional arts center where theater, music, dance, architecture and more thrive. Take the kids to the Harbor and visit the Staten Island Children’s Museum. Sony Wonder Technology Lab This free entertainment and tech museum is unlike any other children’s museum. Every exhibit is a completely immersive and hands-on experience. Kids will enjoy spending time in the Robot Zone, the Animation Studio and the High Definition Theater.   The South Street Seaport With its eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, it’s no wonder that the South Street Seaport welcomes thousands of families per day. Bike rentals are available and the Fulton Stall Market is open every weekend.   Staten Island Ferry Traveling to and from Staten Island can be an adventure in and of itself when you take the Staten Island Ferry. The free 25-minute ride takes the stress out of the schlep and mesmerizes little ones with views of New York Harbor.   The Statue of Liberty While the interior of the statue is currently closed for construction, it plans to reopen by early winter. In the meantime, National Park Rangers will remain on Liberty Island to provide tours of Lady Liberty’s façade. The United Nations Although guided tours of the UN are not permitted for children under the age of 5, kids of all ages will get a kick out of creating stamps from photos of themselves in the Personalized Stamp Shop.   Wave Hill This picturesque 28-acre public park and cultural center in the Bronx hosts family art projects every Saturday and Sunday morning alongside family yoga classes on Fridays.   For more fun in the city, visit our Family Calendar at newyorkfamily. com/events.

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shopping & stores

y T i C S i h T p o Sh A Family Guide To The City’s Best Places To Buy Children’s Clothes, Shoes, Toys, Furnishings, Books & More By RoBin SakS FRankel and alliSon WimeR

Manhattan is known for top-of-the-line retail stores and boutiques, even when it comes to toy stores and children’s clothing. So whether you’re window shopping for the day or going on a weekend-long shopping spree, you should arm yourself with this directory of places to visit for the city’s best in stores.

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CLOTHING STORES & BOUTIQUES Babesta Trendsetters-in-training and the parents who shop for them stock up at these twin Tribeca spots (Babesta Cribz and Babesta Threads) for funky furniture, unique toys and hip clothes for babies. Berkley Girl Your tween fashionista will say OMG! faster than she can text when you take to her this Upper West Side clothing and accessories boutique that’s spot on with what girls her age want, thanks to regular focus groups with their customers. Bit’z Kids The Upper West Side and Tribeca are the only U.S. outposts of this beloved Japanese baby and children’s clothing brand. Both locations have play areas so parents can efficiently browse. Blue Tree This beloved Carnegie Hill store carries a carefully curated selection of gifts and accessories you won’t find anyplace else. Bonpoint The Madison Avenue outpost of the famed French children’s wear couture line is exactly what you would expect: full of beautiful, elegant and upscale clothing for the younger set.

colorful embroidery and appliques for infants and girls up to size 12 and boys up to size 10.

a cult following via the knowledgeable salespeople who expertly fit children’s feet to the right-sized shoes.

The Children’s Place There’s a reason this national chain has ten Manhattan locations: they sell quality, wellpriced clothing and accessories for newborns through kids’ size 14.

Julian and Sara Downtown parents go gaga for this Soho children’s store’s chic selection of pint-sized dresses and dress shirts. Stylish little shoes, gifts and items for Mom round out the selection.

Crew Cuts The Upper East Side J.Crew store for your wanna-be mini-me carries teensy cashmere sweaters, weathered chinos and vintage-style tees just like Mom and Dad wear. Egg Exclusively using natural or organic materials, this boutique introduces supersoft fabrics and sprightly prints for baby and toddler—plus an adorable mix-andmatch maternity line for expectant moms. Estella Offering upscale and eponymous designer duds for little darlings, this Greenwich Village shop is a favorite of stylists and celebrities. Granny-Made Best known for their handmade sweaters and ABC wall hangings, the inviting Upper West Side haberdashery also carries kids’ clothing, furniture and toys.

Bu and the Duck This Tribeca store is filled with the owner/designer’s vintage-inspired clothing, shoes and accessories—all for kids. You’ll find well-crafted toys, puppets and furniture there, too.

Greenstones & Naturino The wide selection of European branded basics, hats and accessories, plus Naturino children’s shoes next door to their uptown locations, have cemented this children’s clothing shop as a favorite among the preschool set.

Bundle Stylish apparel and accessories for boys and girls ages newborn to six can be found at Soho’s Bundle. Make sure to check out their gender-neutral suggestions for “wait-and-see” babies.

Harry’s Shoes For Kids The offshoot of the popular Harry’s Shoes is a chip off the old block. This Upper West Side store has a huge selection of infant and children’s shoes to keep your tyke shod.

Catimini The Upper East Side flagship of this high-end designer children’s clothing line from France is chock-full of their signature

Ibiza Kidz Located in an area known for catering to the college crowd, this Union Square kids’ clothing, shoe and toy shop attracts


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Lester’s The Yorkville outpost of this tri-state area chainlet is where parents of infants through preteens shop the latest trends in apparel, accessories and footwear. A huge selection of seasonal summer camp merchandise will have your tween begging for an airbrushed BFF pillow. Magic Windows Classic, traditional and formalwear for infants through teens, plus custom-made party dresses are a stand-out at this Upper East Side fixture. My Little Sunshine Multitasking supermoms love that this Chelsea spot has kiddie clothes, toys and even offers haircuts in a little red airplane at the back of the store. Pink Chicken This popular purveyor of breezy sundresses, tunics and knits for ladies ages zero to 100 recently hung a shingle on Upper Madison Avenue, delighting mini fashionistas and their moms. Polarn O. Pyret The Swedish clothing line for children has two Manhattan locations: Tribeca and the Upper West Side. Parents seeking clothing with European flair (think bright colors and stripes) snatch up their wellmade basics. Ralph Lauren Children’s There’s no better place to dress your prepster-in-training than this Upper East Side store. Stock up on little oxfords, polo shirts and brightly colored threads for boys and girls of all ages. stores. continued on page 76

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BiG TiP: Discount shopping For Families By Christine Wei We all love a good sale, whether it comes in the form of shortterm price reductions in online flash sales or discounted vouchers on group buying sites—but the countless scores of them that have cropped up in recent years have become entirely overwhelming. Never fear: for parents who don’t have hours on end to surf the net or don’t enjoy cluttered inboxes, we’ve curated a list of the biggest players with the best family offerings. Sign up, get deal reminder emails and save.

DeeP One-TiMe VOUCheRs Instead of delivering products right to your door, these sites release coupons or vouchers at discounted prices, often for a service or experience (like dining or theater). Plum District: All deals on this mom favorite aims to be a parenting problem solver, whether that means vouchers for babysitting services, kids clothing boutiques or a spa treatment for a little personal R&R.

Online Flash sales These sites offer big discounts, often up to 50% or more, for as short as one day. Flash sales often feature a very limited stock for each product and can sell out very quickly.

8moms: Each sale is personally endorsed by the site’s eight moms (saw that coming, didn’t you?), who introduce the service or product with individual perspectives. Groupon might have biting wit, but 8moms has an intimate, almost blog-like feel.

Gilt Kids: Among the most upscale in this category, Gilt has a dedicated kids section with everything from apparel and shoes to books and toys. Sales can be sorted by gender and age and come out one to two times a day.

Mamabargains: Unlike sites that refresh deals on a regular schedule, Mamabargains starts a new deal when the previous one sells out. This could make checking back more of a hassle—or that much more exciting.

little Rue: Like Gilt Kids, Ruelala’s pint-sized boutique features high-end clothes, gear and accessories—collections that have only expanded since the group’s partnership with Toys“R”Us. A month-long shipping flat rate is great for frequent shoppers.

Mamasource: For those who hate sorting through email clutter, MamaPedia delivers one carefully selected deal a day to your inbox. It also has a school fundraising program for putting your dollars toward a bigger purpose.

ideeli Kids: The price points at this designer sale site are more mid-ranged (though it’s shipping fee is not). The paid membership program grants early access to all sales, giving you a better chance of snagging hot items. Fab: It’s barely been around for a year, but the first flash sale site to focus on design has already been all the buzz. Expect to find hip clothing, modern décor and, well, fab-looking everything else. New Kids Wednesdays evenings sales launch weekly. Zulily: With something for the kids as well as something for the mom, browsing Zulily is a joy. Sales are sorted by category, age and last-day, for the shoppers who exhibit a fear of missing out. The Mini social: If you aren’t satisfied with the run-of-the-mill kids stuff, it’s time to celebrate. The Mini Social is a healthy mix of tried-and-true brand names and alternative designers that lend that extra spark. hautelook Kids: As the name might imply, the collections here cater to little fashionistas in the making. Thrice-weekly sales strictly focus on apparel, with the occasional toy and gear offering.

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livingsocial Families: Hit up this online voucher giant’s Family section for everything from chess lessons to fencing camp to education DVDs. Hint: the Adventures section offers thrilling active experiences like whitewater rafting great for the older kids. OTheRs We’re not sure how these quite fit into the above two categories, but they’re too good to pass up! Kids.Woot: Kids.Woot unveils one daily deal for gears and toys that it sells directly, but without imposing a quantity cap like most flash sale sites do. The site is powered by Woot, one of the first of these kinds of sites created. squarespot: Instead of snatching up one product or service at a time, buying a SquareCard makes you eligible for a host of discounts with SquareSpot’s partners. (Think: no expiration dates, no printing or pulling codes out from your phone.)

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Shoofly Shoofly specializes in quality European shoes and accessories for toddlers through teens. Unique clothing, toys and baby gifts make this Tribeca boutique a standout. Sprout San Francisco The Upper East Side outpost of this popular natural and organic children’s clothing, toy and furniture shop is more than just its wares. They offer weekly classes like post-partum fitness and music and an indoor play space. Stella McCartney Kids A location within the Stella McCartney women’s store in Soho means moms can do double duty shopping for high-end items for themselves and their au courant kids. Stoopher & Boots Eclectic and seemingly all-encompassing, this Upper West Side boutique has everything from kids’ clothing and toys to unique finds for grown-ups. stoopher. Tip Top Shoes The fit specialists here will help your little walker find his or her first pair while older kids will love the vast selection of comfort, dress and sport shoes. Torly Kid The former Babylicious store has grown up to include trendy togs in sizes from tot to tween. In addition to toys and games, weekly story-times and other special events make this a favorite site of neighborhood parents. Yoya A super-modern boutique for kids ages four to fourteen on the edge of the MePa district, this shop is known for its futuristic clothing, nursery furniture and playthings. TOY STORES A Time For Children Don’t let the size fool you—this Upper West Side store stocks a wide variety of


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merchandise from stuffed Paddington Bears to cards to vintage onesies, and gives 100% of the profits to The Children’s Aid Society. Dinosaur Hill This charming East Village variety store stocks both classics and one-of-a-kind items like wooden blocks in 16 languages, batik crib quilts and a wide variety of handmade puppets and marionettes. Mary Arnold Toys New York’s oldest continuously operating toy store has an expansive selection of costumes, educational toys, plush animals and traditional board games. Free delivery within its Upper East Side neighborhood. West Side Kids Located on the Upper West Side, this neighborhood toy store carries a mix of classic and new toys and games for all ages. Parents of app-addicted kids will love their no electronic toys policy. BOOKSTORES Bank Street Bookstore Located on the upper reaches of the Upper West Side, this bookstore caters exclusively to young readers. If you can’t make the trip, their extensive website offers the same carefully chosen selection of books, games, toys and CDs as its bricks and mortar counterpart. Books of Wonder The oldest independent children’s bookstore in the city is well-known for its collection of both old and new tomes for tots. Twice a week, kids and their caregivers can enjoy story time at this iconic Chelsea spot. BIG BOX DESTINATION STORES American Girl Place Spend an entire day with your doll lover at this giant concept store picking out a new doll, accessories, matching daughter and doll outfits, or simply enjoying the doll hair salon, doll hospital or having a meal at the café. Disney Store The revamped Times Square flagship store is almost as good as visiting the House of Mouse. Disney fans of any age will love the Magical Escalator Experience, the Pixie Dust Path and the Magic Trees. FAO Schwarz This iconic midtown toy emporium is home to a newborn nursery, stuffed animal extravaganza and a dozen other stores within its walls. All city kids need to dance on the famed giant piano keyboard at least once in their lifetime. The LEGO Store Kids will make a beeline for the Pick A Brick Wall and their parents will love the miniature versions of classic NYC cityscapes, including the store’s Rockefeller Center location. Toys “R” Us Come for the toys, stay for the 60-foot Ferris wheel, the 4,000-square-foot Barbie dollhouse and the life-sized T-Rex. The Times Square flagship store is a toy heaven for all ages.

NURSERY & KID FURNISHINGS ABC Carpet & Home All of ABC’s artisanal goods have cultural origins, sourced from all over the globe with a mind toward reducing carbon footprint. It’s dedicated Home & Planet line particularly delights design- and sustainability-conscious families alike. Allyn Howard If your walls need a little whimsy and cheer, look no further than the Allyn Howard’s Brooklyn studio, where she’s been painting customized murals and artworks for both nurseries and children’s rooms since 2003. Argington With backgrounds in architecture and art, it’s no wonder that furniture from designers Jenny Argie and Andrew Thorton are tastefully clean and simple. Check out continued on page 79

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their organic bedding options for worryfree sleep. BasicGrey If cookie cutter nursery rooms bore you out of your mind, hop on over to BasicGrey, which revels in all things quirky. Its children’s wall art, storage barrels and swaddling arts are practically modern art. Behr’s Superstore With over 30,000 square feet of baby and children’s furniture, this Long Island megastore offers one of the largest selections in the Tri-State area—and the friendly and well-informed staff is always ready to come to your navigational rescue. Bellini Bellini’s award winning furnishings combine modern day features with old world craftsmanship to create furniture that is both practical and beautiful. Best of all, their convertible products grow with the kids to last the family a lifetime. Bograd Kids Along with offering luxury furnishings and designer bedding, this premium retail store provides customers with design consultations and floor plans at no extra charge. The pre-curated designer rooms quickly offers busy parents everything they need. Casa Kids Proudly made in Brooklyn, Casa Kids contemporary furniture collections are designed for utility and durability so they last through the years. Better yet, everything is designed with small spaces in mind—perfect for urban apartments. California Closets The design consultants at California Closets are miracle workers at finding ways to make everything fit. Their adjustable set-ups make transforming age-appropriate furnishings a breeze. DwellStudio This wholesale designer, most loved for its bold patterns and rich textiles, recently opened a store in Soho. Head on in for bedding, rugs, and more with their very own personality. 

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Kid’s Supply Company Lauded by the likes of The New York Times, this store serves up a range of baby, kid, and adult furniture collections featuring green, eco-friendly products. Iglooplay Talk about creating learning opportunities. Inspired by the idea that play is essential in development, this company’s products feature a rich variety of sculptural shapes, materials and colors. IKEA Need a bed on a budget? Not a problem in nearby Red Hook, Brooklyn, where the well-known Swedish IKEA offers modern furniture at a low price. Tip: you can reward patient little shoppers with scrumptious Swedish meatballs. Lisa Williams If you’re among the ranks of those who find clowns to be creepy creatures, former graphic designer Lisa Williams has more pleasant solutions for your wall. Her animal-centric murals are made with kidfriendly acrylic paint to and are customized for your room. Lucky Duck & Friends English Artist Pippa Scott uses a big splash of colors to create a unique collection of cheery, whimsical animal paintings that capture the joys of being a child. Mini Jake This modern children’s store in Williamsburg offers a vast selection of nursery and playroom furniture, décor, and toys that is sophisticated yet playful. Netto Collection Amongst the first to delve into stylish design in kids furniture, David Netto prides himself on using only sustainably harvested wood and non-toxic finishes to create safe furnishings that aren’t restricted to a pink-and-blue palette. Oeuf Launched by a dynamic French/American duo, this brand offers sustainability-

minded European manufactured furniture at a low price—without sacrificing its key principles of quality, practicality and function. Posh Baby & Teen Selling only the safest children’s furniture for a wide range of ages, this Staten Island store even offers delivery and assembly service for outer borough families. Raymour & Flanigan Furniture This popular furniture chain boasts a variety of styles from classic to contemporary (but never out-dated) with a quick three-day delivery turnaround. Resource Furniture Resource is about form as well as hybrid function—beds with fold-out desks, expandable tables, and sofa with secret storage all boast chic, contemporary looks. Restoration Hardware Baby & Child One of the fastest growing brands in children’s furnishings, Restoration Hardware’s produces classy designs for dreamy nurseries, timeless bedrooms, and more. Sam Simon For that special personal touch, New York City artist Sam Simon creates beautiful murals as well as hand-paints children’s rooms. Spoiled Rotten Too Forget the mundane at Spoiled Rotten Too, a whimsical Long Island boutique that hand-picks designer furniture for babies & kids. The in-house painters make their heirloom offerings truly one-of-a-kind. Target Going on 50 years, this popular retailer continues to offer attractive furniture at even more attractive prices. If you don’t want to wait for shipping, make a visit to the twoyear-old store on 116th Street.

For more local store listings, visit July 2012 | New York Family


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Say CheeSe! With So Many Great Local Photographers, You Can Find The Right Style And Snapshot For Your Family BY Sarah GreeNe aNd MaGGie McNaMara Capturing your children’s NYC childhood is just as important as experiencing it firsthand. Even if you’re the kind of parent who is constantly snapping photos of your little ones, you should consider leaving this job to the pros every once in a while. Abby Cope Photo shoots with Abby include not only flashes and poses, but also quality time with the photographer herself. By allowing children to first gain her trust, Abby captures true, natural smiles. Adam Morgan “Say cheese” are words that never leave Adam’s mouth. He capitalizes on natural light in both indoor and outdoor settings to capture unrehearsed actions, from silly tumbles to spontaneous giggles. Alysa Renee Alysa aims to “blur the line between fine art portraiture and real life,” preserving the special moments and unique gestures of each child. She utilizes natural lighting in outdoor sessions. Aoommie Photography Specializing in natural light photography, Aoommie depicts the simple beauty of children and families by highlighting precious details, such as loving glances between siblings and extra folds behind newborns’ knees. Audrey Lee All of Audrey’s portrait sessions occur outdoors in natural lighting, usually in Central Park unless requested elsewhere. Lee focuses on depicting children’s fascination as they explore the wonders of nature.


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Bentley Waters Bentley maximizes comfort by using natural lighting and working in your preferred location. She integrates scenery into each photo, using even paved sidewalks or bathtubs as props. Classic Kids Photography, UES Classic Kids is known for its trained consortium of photographers and its highly praised fiber based prints. Photographs are manually developed in the company’s darkrooms and printed strictly in black and white. Cynthia L. Ever Photos Cynthia uses Nikon cameras to create balanced mixtures of posed and candid photos. She offers a professional setup with studio lighting and backdrops, but will shoot anywhere in the city. Heather Forbes Heather captures the candid, silly moments shared between children and families in beautiful, naturally lit shots. Maternity sessions are available in the privacy of your own home. Heidi Green A former preschool teacher, Heidi connects with each child she photographs and captures stunning candid moments at private shoots and birthday parties. Her personality and style are genuine and refreshing. Jeffrey Shaw Jeffrey creates a wholesome look for families while also ensuring that portraits can be framed without glass. Plus, you can enjoy your photos wherever you go with his free client gallery iPhone application!

JellyBean Pictures Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman of JellyBean Pictures avoids unnatural props when depicting your young ones. A fan of natural light and colors, Jennifer captures the innocent beauty of each little “bean” she photographs. Jennifer Lee Jennifer’s use of old-fashioned film causes even subtle details to vibrantly pop. She offers both color and black and white photographs, in addition to designer photo bags, jewelry and more. jenn M As a contemporary lifestyle photographer, Jenn makes the portrait process simple and casual. She is flexible regarding locations, traveling to sites such as Disney World for shoots. Jessica Leigh Jessica is willing to shoot indoors, outdoors or in her studio with color backdrops. One of her newest services is creating personal family photo galleries in clients’ homes. Jordan Elyse In addition to standard portraiture, Jordan offers a new spin on play-dates that your kids, and you, will love. Gather six or more friends and Elyse will photograph the fun. Julie Brimberg In both posed and candid photos, Julie works to reveal the inner beauty of each child, from capturing quirky smiles to the freckles that dot a toddler’s nose. continued on page 84

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BIG TIP: 8 Great Places To Take Holiday Photos Whether you’re doing the photographing or letting a pro take over, there are some great local spots for capturing holiday card-worthy moments with the fam. We asked some top photographers for their recommended city locales. Cynthia Ever: “A place I love for photos is a small city park overlooking the East River on 57th Street. Children can play in this quiet park and there is a great view of the 59th Street Bridge and river that create a perfect geometric architectural backdrop.”

Cynthia Ever

Heidi Green: “I love photographing families right on the city streets in chic neighborhoods like the Meatpacking District. Families can be creative and it brings a new dimension to the portraits of the past, which presumably had to be done in the park with trees and flowers.” Jeffrey Shaw: “There is a hidden gem in Central Park that even some lifelong New Yorkers don’t know about. It’s the Conservatory Garden on Fifth Ave at 105th Street. It is exceptionally wellmaintained and there are interesting seasonal plantings at all times of year, providing interesting texture.”

Karen Haberberg Sarah Sloboda

Justine Cooper: “Tudor City Park on First Avenue between 40th and 43rd Streets— it’s incredibly versatile! You can make it feel like a hidden getaway, with shady walks and pretty plantings.” Karen Haberberg: “Teardrop Park is a beautiful location for a family photograph. Its unique landscape is home to a gigantic slide set within a wall of rocks. There are serene paths, sand pits, water play, rocks to climb and sit on and much more.” Lindsay May of Classic Kids Photography, UES: “Solid backgrounds are my favorite because they go with any style of holiday card. If you cannot get to a studio, think all one texture: The red brick wall in front of Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Prince and Mulberry; everyone in the family laying down in the green grass on The Great Lawn in Central Park; the closed red doors in front of the NYC Fire Museum; or in front of the water wall in Paley Park on 53rd Street.”

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Justine Cooper Sarah Sloboda: “My favorite NYC family shoot spots are the tucked away little alleyways like Staple Street in Tribeca. They don’t get much traffic, so it’s possible to stand right in the middle of the street for a fun shot. You end up with the quintessential New York backdrop.” Shutter Sisters Images: “One of our favorite places to photograph families is The Astor Court Garden at the Met. It is a peaceful place where children are instantly calmed by the serene surroundings. The beautiful pagodas, fountains and exquisite lighting make it our go to spot on a rainy day.”

Thaddeus Harden: “The city is filled with fantastic backdrops all year long, but some of the best visuals blossom during the fall season. Times Square, Lord & Taylor, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park with the ice skating, and Lincoln Center, to name a few.”

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Justine Cooper Justine’s training in photojournalism enables her to perfectly preserve even fleeting moments. Sessions are available in clients’ homes, outdoors, the studio or a combination of locations, in natural or studio lighting. Karen Haberberg Karen’s photography focuses on natural moments that capture the spirit of her clients. Her personal approach places subjects at ease, leading to more authentic portraits. Leshem Loft Leshem Loft produces traditional portraits of families, couples and children. It also specializes in capturing the beauty of a pregnant woman’s body through tasteful and elegant photography. Le Studio NYC Client-centered Le Studio NYC emphasizes the artistic vision of the client, whether it be black and white, sepia or bold colors. Lindsey Gray With bold colors and patterns and natural settings, Lindsey’s photography emphasizes simplicity. Her specialty is newborn portraits, but she also excels in family, child and maternity. Lucile Khornak Lucile creates elegant portraits through her use of soft black and white format and natural lighting. Her eye for unpredictable moments ensures that her portraits are unique and highly personalized. Mary Jane Photography Mary Jane’s photography emphasizes fun and surprise, capturing artfully posed portraits that are relaxed and unexpected. Her eye for simplicity ensures that her subjects are the feature of every photograph. Michael Jurick Natural environments and the changing light of the sun help Michael produce effortless and vibrant portraits of families and children.


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Nina Drapacz

Shutter Sisters Images

Nina uses high-end digital cameras to capture great detail in her photographs. She has a special talent for capturing the fleeting expressions of her clients that display their personalities.

Shutter Sisters is a collaborative photo blog made up of female photogs, each with her own business and expertise. Their interests range from graphic design, to natural lighting and color.

Paloma Sendrey Through her special skill for capturing both detail and ease in children’s faces, Paloma produces natural, journalistic portraits of families, children and maternity.

Sue Barr Sue’s photography makes use of both environment and subject to capture unique moments in everyday life. Her skillful use of natural light makes the ordinary occurrences extraordinary.

Photo Op Photo Op operates in a studio with several options for backdrops and wardrobe. This team of professional photographers excels in everything from traditional, posed portraits to contemporary fashion shots.

Suzanne Cohen Inspired by New York City, Suzanne utilizes the metropolis as the backdrop to her photography. Her photo shoots can occur anywhere in NYC and surrounding areas.

PortraitBug PortraitBug is a team of photographers, all with unique skill sets. With experts in lighting, posing and working with kids of all ages, the team creates relaxed environment for its subjects. Rebecca Yale Photographic manipulation is one way that Rebecca enhances the quality of her photographs. Her use of vibrant colors and backdrops ensures that the subjects remain the feature of each photograph.

Thaddeus Harden From maternity portraits to dynamic family photos, Thaddeus captures each subject’s unique personality and perspective with artistic flair. Thomas Roemischer Thomas brings his skills in digital retouching to his photography, combining traditional portraiture with contemporary technology. His shoots occur in locations comfortable for his clients to ensure relaxed portraits.

Redhead Photography LLC Specializing in exclusively newborn, baby and child, Redhead Photography’s vintage style features soft, earthy tones and organic backdrops.

Tiny Portraits Tiny Portraits specializes in capturing pregnancy, from maternity photos to ultrasounds to newborn portraits. Its “Before and After” packages feature an ultrasound placed adjacent to a newborn shot.

Sarah Merians Sarah specializes in event photography and family portraits. She is committed to producing not only great photographs, but also works of art that are passed down through generations.

Venture Photography Venture combines photography with digital artwork to ensure that your family portraits are unique and inspiring. They also frame and mount each photograph for the finishing touch.

Sarah Sloboda Bringing traditional photography to the digital world, Sarah excels in documentary film. She offers both photo shoots and event photography to capture spontaneous moments.

Another great way to discover local photographers we love is to check out our covers archive at

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Answers For The NYC Pop Quiz For Parents

See Questions On Page 20 & 21 1. A (Kiani); B (Gus); and C (Tazo) 2. The order from shortest to longest is Mary Poppins (2,307 shows); Mamma Mia (4,419 shows); The Lion King (6,051 shows). These were the show numbers as of June 1, 2012.

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3. A (Elephant: The Elephantine Colossus, otherwise known as the Elephant Hotel, opened in 1885 and lasted until 1896, when it burned down.) 4. B (American Girl Place) 5. D (Shake Shack) 6. B (Ice skating rinks: The concept of a playground didn’t emerge till the early 1900s.)

Infants + Toddlers

7. C (The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge) 8. A (3); B (2); C (4); D (1) 9. C (Park Slope’s famous food co-op was not in the book.)

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10. C (The red tail hawks, who first strayed outside Central Park to nest in 2002.)

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11. A (Nearly 1 million) 12. D (Frosting) 13. B (86th floor)

The JCC in Manhattan

14. A (2); B (1); C (4); D (3); E (5)

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15. A (2); B (4); C (3); D (1)

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July 2012 | New York Family


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health & wellness

THE FIT FAmILy the City’s top hospitals, Doctors, Dentists, nutritionists and exercise Centers with a Focus On Parents and Kids

NewYork Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center

No matter where you live, nothing is more important than your family’s health and wellness. Thankfully, NYC has some of the best resources when it comes to healthcare. From the country’s top hospitals and doctors, to nutritionists and pediatric dentists using cutting-edge techniques, the health experts in our city are always on call.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center 525 East 68th Street

“de-junk” the pantries of American households, much in the same way that she transformed her very own home into a healthy and unprocessed food household.

NYU Langone Medical Center 333 East 29th Street

HOSPITALS Beth Israel Medical Center First Avenue at 16th Street

St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center 1000 Tenth Avenue

PEDIATRIC DENTISTS Gramercy Pediatric Dentistry 195 Third Avenue

Lenox Hill 100 East 77th Street Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) 1275 York Avenue Montefiore Medical Center 111 East 210th Street Mount Sinai Hospital One Gustave L. Levy Place New York Downtown Hospital 170 William Street New York Eye and Ear Infirmary 310 East 14th Street NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital 3959 Broadway


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NUTRITIONISTS Elisa Zied A one-stop shop for all things foodrelated! This is a great site that focuses on explaining exactly what is in the foods we eat. Elisa Zied, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., has written three books on family nutrition and healthy-eating. Food Trainers Food Trainers, created by Lauren Slayton, M.S., R.D., aims to provide inspiration and motivation for families to actually start eating healthy. The website also offers resources and tools for recipes, calorie counting and fitness. Tanya Zuckerbrot of F-Factor The goal of F-Factor is to educate and promote the benefits of a high-fiber diet. Tanya Zuckerbrot, M.S., R.D., created this unique diet in 1999, and even offers “menu reviews” on her site for optimal high-fiber picks while dining out. Tracy Gary of Intuition Nutrition Gary provides quick and easy recipes and advice, focusing on all-natural fare. Her goal is to

Manhattan Pediatric Dental Group 192 East 75th Street New York Pediatric Dentistry 5 West 71St Street Open Sesame Dentistry 315 West 70th Street, #1J Park Avenue Pediatric Dentistry 870 Park Avenue Pediatric Dentistry 305 East 55th Street PEDIATRIC OFFICES Beth Israel Pediatric Associates 10 Union Square East (Suites 2J and 2H) Big Apple Pediatrics 315 West 70th Street, #1K Downtown Pediatrics 36 North Moore Street continued on page 88

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BIG TIP: Pediatric Emergency Rooms And Urgent Services Every hospital in the country has an emergency room—this is a given. But did you know that Manhattan has specialized ERs designed to work with children in need of urgent care or emergency services? In certain situations, children need specified care, and some facilities feel it’s best to separate the kid from the adult patients. In Manhattan, there are two child-specific ERs around the city: Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian (childrensnyp. org) and New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center for Emergency Medicine ( Urgent Care facilities are a great resource for families in need of immediate services, but not necessarily emergency care. One of NYC’s leading and most coveted hospitals, Mount Sinai, recently opened an urgent care facility on the Upper West Side. The Mount Sinai Urgent Care Upper West Side (mountsinai. org/urgentcare), which is open seven days a week, offers shorter wait-times and lower costs than ERs. Everything from asthma to broken fingers to fevers and flu can be treated. Best part is, no appointments are necessary! Plus, City MD Urgent Care ( is another great organization that has several locations around the city. Also open seven days a week, City MD offers great pediatric care, x-ray services, ultrasounds and much more. All major insurance plans are accepted! Similarly, EMERGeCARE ( on the Upper East Side provides a reliable alternative to a primary care physician when your family physician or pediatrician is not able to see you promptly. It’s a viable option when a trip to the emergency room seems like too much. With or without insurance, you can receive the personal treatment you deserve.

Other Special Services & Products

Alliance Nursing is a boutique medical service providing highly qualified Registered Nurses and Home Health Aides for all forms of medical support, elder care and companionship. Our caring and professional staff are available 24/7 to meet your family’s needs. The Mount Sinai Faculty Practice Association has more physicians than any other hospital, and offers world-class, patient-centered care. FPA members are both practicing physicians as well as full-time faculty for the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The FPA is a hub of comprehensive care, from diagnostic tests, imaging procedures and lab tests to primary care physicians and specialists. FPA members have offices located all over New York City. The NYU Vein Center takes a comprehensive approach to treating a range of vein issues. The faculty has developed numerous minimally invasive procedures for diagnosing and treating vein abnormalities—in particular, varicose veins, reticular veins and spider veins. The Vein Center’s surgeons are dedicated to both academic research and patient treatment. Committed to outpatient procedures with no recuperation time, no vein stripping and no general anesthesia, the Vein Center is the only one of its kind in New York City. skinfoto allows you to track the severity of your skin conditions on the go or at home. Upload photos to skinfoto’s website or free iPhone app to receive your personalized skin analysis. Monitor skin concerns including: acne, wrinkles, scars, stretchmarks and hyperpigmentation. For example, track the improvement of your scar’s appearance after using products from our online store, such as Kelo-cote®, or use your own products. skinfoto allows you to visualize progress, purchase products, earn rewards towards discounts and more. TM

Global Pediatrics 1559 York Avenue Gotham Pediatrics 59 West 12th Street, Suite 1C LaGuardia Place Pediatrics 505 Laguardia Place Manhattan Pediatrics 217 Grand Street, 5th floor Manhattan Physicians Group Various Locations Pediatric Associates of NYC 317 East 34th Street Pediatrics of New York 11 East 86th Street, #1B Tribeca Pediatrics Tribeca Pediatrics is a trusted resource for pediatric care for over twenty years, is now serving 10 neighborhoods throughout the New York City Metro area. Our offices offer a high level of personalized care and support in a fun, welcoming environment. Locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Village Pediatrics 24 East 12th Street, Suite 403 Weill Cornell Medical Associates Various Locations On Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Tribeca West Eleventh St Pediatric Associates 46 West 11th Street West End Pediatrics 450 West End Avenue, #1E & 2 Fifth Avenue, #8 continued on page 89


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SPORTS CENTERS 14th Street Y 344 East 14th Street 92Y 1395 Lexington Avenue Asphalt Green 555 East 90th Street & 75 West End Avenue Chelsea Piers 62 Chelsea Piers Crunch Multiple Locations Equinox Multiple Locations

JCC 334 Amsterdam Avenue New York Health and Racquet Club Multiple Locations New York Sports Clubs Multiple Locations Reebok Sports Club/NY and Sports Club/LA 160 Columbus Avenue YMCA Multiple Locations For more great medical coverage, read “the cure For the common hospital” at


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July 2012 | New York Family


6/25/12 11:05 AM


Is Your

cHILD rEaDY for


Whether They are Going To Day camp Or sleepaway, most Kids Have some Trepidation The First Time. Here’s How You can Bolster Their Readiness (and Yours Too) BY Jess Michaels Your child going to summer camp for the first time is a big step in his or her life. While it is an exciting time, this milestone may cause some nervousness for you both. So how do you know what is the right time to send your child to camp? “When considering camp, you want to make sure you look at your child with an objective eye,” says Adam Weinstein, Executive


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Director of the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey. “How do other people describe your child to you? How well does your child interact with friends and adults? What activities does your child enjoy? Does your child need a great deal of nurturing or do they tend to be independent? Answering these questions will help you figure out if your child is ready for camp and which camp environment is right for him or her.”

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how to ease your own transition • Make sure you talk to the camp director. When you are choosing a camp, ask the camp director questions and get to know him or her. Ask the director to describe the camp’s philosophy and how the staff implements it. Find out about the camp director’s background and the staff training. Ask about the age of the counselors and the counselor to camper ratio. Talking to the camp director and learning about the camp program will help you feel more comfortable and will ease any nervousness you may have. • Keep in mind that camp directors have your child’s best interests in mind and the skill to guide your child towards an appropriate level of independence, self-confidence and success. • Remember that kids often get over the adjustment to a new experience and a new environment before parents get used to the

next stage of development. While your child is adjusting to camp, don’t make pick-up deals and offer to rescue your child from camp. Instead, offer positive encouragement that you know he or she will have a successful summer. • If your child is at sleepaway camp, don’t focus too much on correspondence in the first few days of camp. If you receive a discouraging phone call or a letter from your child, remember that like any new experience, adjusting to camp may take a few days and that severe homesickness is rare. • When your child is at camp, allow him or her to solve their own problems or ask a counselor for help. Camp is a setting that allows your child to experience the real world in a safe environment.

Interest & Readiness


How did your child become interested in going to camp? “Talk to your child in order to assess his or her readiness,” says Ross Coleman, Camp Director of Coleman Country Day Camp. “Does your child sound excited about the adventure? Is he or she comfortable separating from you for segments of time? Does your child enjoy playing with other children? Does he or she thrive on achieving milestones of independence?” Answering these questions will help you determine if your child is both interested and ready for camp. Remember, the decision to go to camp should be made together. Keep in mind that the more involved children are in the process, the more ownership they feel. This helps ease concerns about camp, and can help make a child’s camp experience more successful.

You want to take into account your child’s age when considering camp. Day camps are designed for children 3 years and up. Children can go to sleepaway camp at the age of 7. But families should keep in mind that just because a child is 7 years old doesn’t mean he or she is emotionally ready for sleepaway camp.

biG tip: essential resources For selecting a camp New York Family has several wonderful resources for helping parents find the right day camp or sleepaway camp for their child.

the ultimate Guide to summer camp Every February we publish our annual camp guide, offering a menu of stories on researching camps and on the camp experience. The 2012 Guide, which can be found online at newyorkfamilycamps. com, covers everything from interviews with camp directors to personal accounts of the camp life from an owner, a counselor and a camper. This year we also launched the popular website therightcamp. com, which allows families to do a detailed online search for camps that are a good match for their child. Simply check off your preferences (which range from camp type to dietary restrictions) and then explore the camps that meet your criteria, each with a page full of essential info, photos and videos.

camp Fairs From early winter to early spring, New York Family joins forces with The American Camp Association of NY/NJ to produce the city’s largest camp fair series. Informative, fun and free, the Camp Fairs allow parents and children to explore a big variety of camps and meet with many of their directors—all in one convenient session. Check back at for a full calendar for 2012-2013, and to register for a Camp Fair.

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Day Or Sleepaway If you are considering sleepaway camp, make sure your child has had successful overnights away from home with friends and relatives. Were these overnights positive experiences? You want to make sure that your child is mature enough to go away for an extended period of time and that he or she can do certain things independently like shower, get dressed and brush their teeth. Expectations You should learn about the camp program ahead of time and create positive expectations for your child. Talk about camp throughout the year. “The known is comforting to a child, so take a tour of the camp the summer beforehand,” says Ann Young, Director of Camp Hilltop in Hancock, NY. “Go into a cabin and meet and talk to the directors. Touring will build your child’s excitement about camp while familiarizing them with the camp program, activities, camp layout, the cabins and the staff.” Many overnight camps also offer Rookie Days which give future campers a chance to experience camp in session by joining in on camp activities for the day or for a weekend. Positive Messages It is important for parents to share positive messages about summer camp. It is common for a child to have some apprehension as the first day of camp approaches—encourage your child to talk about these feelings. Let your child know you are confident in his or her ability to have a wonderful summer camp experience Jess Michaels is the Director of Communications for the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey. For more stories about camp liFe, see the latest edition oF the ultimate Guide to summer camp at

July 2012 | New York Family


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The Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine

Trying to have a baby?

Zev Rosenwaks, M.D. Director Owen Davis, M.D. Ina Cholst, M.D. Pak Chung, M.D. Rony T. Elias, M.D. Dan Goldschlag, M.D. Hey-Joo Kang, M.D. Isaac Kligman, M.D. Glenn Schattman, M.D. Steven Spandorfer, M.D. Psychologists Linda Applegarth, Ed.D. Elizabeth Grill, Psy.D. Laura Josephs, Ph.D.

Northern Westchester 657 Main Street Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 242-3700 Weill Cornell Medical College 1305 York Avenue New York, NY 10021 (646) 962-2764 Garden City, Long Island 1300 Franklin Avenue Garden City, NY 11530 (516) 742-4100 Flushing Hospital Medical Center 146 -01 45th Avenue Flushing, NY 11355 (646) 962-5626

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We can help. At the Center for Reproductive Medicine, Dr. Zev Rosenwaks and his outstanding team of physicians offer couples the most advanced and effective treatments for infertility. With multiple offices located conveniently for patients in the tri-state area, we provide comprehensive and compassionate care. For more than two decades we have made your desire to build a family our main priority. If you or someone you know is experiencing infertility, contact us at (646) 962-CRMI or visit us on the web at We accept UnitedHealthcare, Oxford Health and Cigna insurance plans for most fertility treatments.

Turning Patients into Parents

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6/4/12 11:13 AM




Vinny DiDonato


A Selective Guide To Everything For Bump And Baby For expectant and new parents (with children up to toddler age), New York Family has introduced two very special and helpful resources. There’s our grand annual event, The New York Baby Show, which takes place every May and attracts thousands of expectant and new families from the Metropolitan area who come to discover hundreds of leading vendors and services for new families, while also enjoying seminars and lectures by parenting and family experts, and sharing all sorts of fun activities with their infants and toddlers. For more info about The New York Baby Show visit—and don’t forget to send in your email address to receive “early bird” ticket specials for next year: info@ On a more regular basis, we also offer expectant and new parents a wonderful (and free) weekly newsletter filled with tips on pre- and post-natal resources, shopping, news and musings—not to mention wonderful giveaways. To sign up for the New York Family Baby newsletter, visit During the coming year, we also expect to introduce another special resource for parents at the start of their journey into family—an “Ultimate Guide” focused solely on the needs and interests of expectant and new parents. Again, the best way to be on the lookout for the guide is to sign up for the Baby newsletter. Meanwhile, these directory listings should help you address many of your needs as new parents.

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BABY & BREASTFEEDING GEAR Albee Baby ANB Baby Babesta Babies “R” Us Boing Boing Brooklyn Baby World buybuyBABY Caribou Baby Giggle Goodnight Room NYC J&R Jr. Metro Minis New York Baby Shop Planet Kids Schneider’s Sprout San Francisco Upper Breast Side Yummy Mummy

BABY PLANNERS AND CONCIERGE SERVICES The Baby Guy NestPREP NYC Baby Planner Sissy & Marley Sweet Pea Baby Planners continued on page 94 July 2012 | New York Family


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BIG TIP: Special Products Our big event, The New York Baby Show, introduced expectant and new parents to lots of great products and services. Here are the five “Best In Show” winners, plus other products of interest: BEST IN SHOW aden + anais: Noted for their muslin swaddles, aden + anais has grown into a full line of wonderful baby and child products—including their latest invention, The Serenity Star feeding & sleep system. Britax: Britax was “the life of the party” at the Baby Show. Of special interest to families with sibs: their new B-AGILE Double Stroller. Lazoo: Lazoo offers a variety of products marked by a colorful style and emphasis on imagination and play, including videos, apps, activity books and apparel. StrollAway: The StrollAway, a storage solution for bulky fold-up strollers, offers space-stressed parents an easy and durable way for strollers to be hung from door tops. Enough said! Ubbi: Ubbi is a diaper pail game-changer. The steel pails are stylish, colorful (in eight shades), light-weight, easy to clean, and keep odors where they belong: within the pail. Other Special Products Chewbeads: Teething jewelry made of 100% silicone beads, similar to pacifiers and nipples. There is no BPA, Phthalates, lead, cadium or metal. Beads are soft on babies’ gums and emerging teeth. Easily cleaned with soap and water, also dishwasher safe! Nomie Baby: These products are designed to help solve problems for parents. Here’s to more time for the fun stuff! Enjoy the happymess with our car seat covers and warm cozy strolls with our stroller blankets and “strittens”—stroller handle mittens!

BABY PROOFING All-Star Baby Safety A Plus Child Proofing Baby Proofer Plus Baby Safe CHILD CARE (child care, sitters, nannies, au pairs and day care) Absolute Best Care Au Pair Care Barnard Babysitting Bright Horizons Care College & Nanny Tutors Craigslist (for their listings) EurAupair: EurAupair is a government-approved service that helps families find au pairs from across the globe to help take care of their little ones. The company screens candidates and ensures that parents are getting someone who is a good fit with their family. The House of Little People


New York Family | July 2012

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Irish Echo (for their listings) The Learning Experience Lucky Lil’ Darlings Mom To Moms Advisor Mommybites (for their nanny board) Nannies Of New York: A boutique premiere nanny placement agency that sources the most talented, experienced and professional nannies and childcare experts in NYC. In addition to nanny placement, we also provide new families with baby nurses, post-partum doulas and lactation specialists. 917.300.9233 or Penelope’s People Preschool of America Sensible Sitters: A babysitting agency currently servicing New York City, Brooklyn, the Hamptons, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Palm Beach. Sensible Sitters offers unparalleled convenience for families. From the sourcing, vetting and background checking of the sitter, to the scheduling and billing, Sensible Sitters takes care of every step of the babysitting process. Sitter City Tutor Time Upper Westside Playgroup Urban Baby (for their listings) Urban Sitter Wee Care DIAPER SERVICES Diaper Kind FERTILITY CLINICS The Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility: The Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility CRM doctors are at the forefront of IVF, donor egg, ICSI, TESE and PGD procedures. Aware of both the physical and emotional toll of infertility on adults, CRM is committed to treating body and soul and offers both individual, couples and group counseling. With vast resources, their affiliation with the Weill-Cornell Medical College and locations in NYC and Westchester, CRMI is well poised to make fertility dreams come true for so many New Yorkers. New Hope Fertility: Visitors to New Hope Fertility’s website can see that it is a clinic that brings humanity and great respect to the practice of reproductive medicine. Promoting Mini-IVF and Natural Cycle IVF, NHF hopes to minimize the amount of drugs and medicine used to produce a healthy egg. With the belief that “all it takes is one good egg,” this clinic is dedicated to helping women conceive healthy babies. NYU Fertility Center Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York HOSPITALS AND BIRTHING CENTERS See our listings for local hospitals in our Health & Wellness section. A number of hospitals now have birthing centers on their premises, where low-risk pregnancies can be delivered by a mid-wife. Also: The Brooklyn Birthing Center continued on page 96

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Exceptional childbirth education courses for expectant parents. Childbirth Preparation Infant CPR Parenting Workshops Access to a Network of Doulas, Lactation Consultants and Infant Mental Health Specialists.

mommy chic, baby safe no bpa, no phthalates, no lead safe for babies to touch, tug, & chew!

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INFANT CPR See the list of hospitals in the Health & Wellness section, many of which offer infant CPR classes; ditto for the list of places for Post-Natal Education Classes in this section. Also: Baby Be Safe Little Hearts MATERNITY CLOTHES A Pea in the Pod Belly Dance Maternity Bump Clementine Consignment Destination Maternity Encore Maternity Madison Rose Motherhood Maternity Rosie Pope Maternity Veronique Maternity PEDIATRICIANS See our section on neighborhood pediatricians in Health & Wellness. PRE- AND POST-NATAL EDUCATION, FITNESS OR SUPPORT 92Y AquaMom Birth Day Presence BklynBirth Caribou Baby Choices in Childbirth Destination Maternity (classes) Diastasis Rehab Fern Drillings Fitnotic JCC Karma Kids Yoga Mama Glow Manhattan Twins Club Metro Minis Mind Over Matter Health & Fitness (MOM): Mind Over Matter’s goal is to provide busy New Yorkers with access to fitness. MOM has personal trainers who will train you anywhere— even in your office! And with group classes, yoga and more, this company has every type of instruction and will work with you to create your ideal fitness plan. Mommybites Mom Prep Mom Support Newborn Notions: For childbirth education and early parenting classes. Enhance your parenting skills with classes in childbirth preparation, infant/toddler CPR as well as workshops taught by professionals. Classes are in small groups and can be taught privately at your home. NYC Dads Group/New Dad Boot Camps Prenatal Yoga Center


New York Family | July 2012

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Stork and Cradle: Childbirth classes are based on Lamaze and Birthing From Within philosophies. Classes & services include prenatal breastfeeding, baby care, infant CPR and in-home lactation consultations. Board certified lactation consultants at Stork and Cradle have at least 8 years of experience working with breastfeeding families. Strollercize Stroller Strides Tribeca Parenting Twiniversity Yummy Mummy SLEEP CONSULTANTS Deborah Pedrick Dream Team Baby Mommywise NYC Sleep Doctor Sleepy On Hudson Smooth Parenting Soho Parenting Swellbeing STROLLER CLEANING AND REPAIR Stroller Spa

BIG TIP: OB/GYNs, Midwives, Doulas & Lactation Experts

If you’re searching for an OB/GYN, midwife, doula or lactation consultant, there’s no shortage of qualified people in the NYC area. Start by asking trusted friends for recommendations, but don’t take their advice as the last word. Follow your instincts.  Use Google or one of your childbirth reference books to really understand the role of each provider, and take note of questions to ask when interviewing the kind of health care provider you’re interested in working with. For OB/GYNs: The major local hospitals have referral services. We also recommend trying the search engine at, which gathers Best Doctors lists using peer referrals. For doulas: Try the following websites: DONA International (, NYC Doula Service ( and The Metropolitan Doula Group ( You can also speak to your OB/GYN. For midwives: Try the American College of Nurse-Midwives (, and Choices in Childbirth (choicesinchildbirth. org)—also ask your OB/GYN. For lactation experts: Try the New York Lactation Consultant Association (

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TEN TIPS FOR RAISING TWINS IN THE CITY Priceless Advice From A Dynamic Mother Of Multiples


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BY Natalie Diaz 1. Get the right wheels! We aren’t talking about your car here; we are talking about your stroller. Because in one day in our fine city you could find yourself rolling over concrete, dirt, cobblestone, grass and more, and having air filled tires on your stroller can make your day a whole lot better. Air tires provide support and flexibility you can’t get from foam filled or EVA (ethlyne vinyl acetate) tires. Also, if you end up having twins with a size discordance (one twin is bigger than the other) you can adjust the pressure in the tires to make your stroller push straight. Great options include: Stroll-Air, Britax B-Ready, Baby Jogger Citi Mini GT, Valco Twin Tri-Mode. 2. Know your hood! Even before your twins get here, it’s good to scope out your local area. Look for playgrounds with one entrance/exit, a gated area around the swings (if there are any) and a bathroom close by. Bonus for a dedicated toddler area. Finding a park with all these elements is going to be tough but necessary when you have two little ones running in different directions. 3. It’s in the bag! When purchasing a diaper bag or even an everyday tote bag, make sure you get one that has a very large stroller strap and very little weight to it when empty. Once your twinnies are walking, it will be vital to have a bag that will be totally hands-free so you can use your hands for your kiddos. Skip Hop has some great options, but don’t be afraid to pick up a messenger bag or a laptop bag to do the job. 4. Map it out! I remember when I found out I was pregnant I was devastated thinking how I was going to navigate our urban jungle with my twinnies in tow. I soon discovered (at around 9 months) that the subway was my perfect mode of transport. I would pack up the kids and schlep up and down the subway stairs with my compact stroller (at the time it was a Maclaren Twin Techno), my diaper bag, a baby in a carrier and a baby in my arms. I would venture up to the Bronx Zoo solo. Yes, this trip took some planning. I knew what subways had working elevators, which had the fewest steps, etc. Knowing the route you are going to take from point A to point B will make your trip smoother and help you do everything a parent of a singleton can do. Be sure to call 511 to find out about service outages and if the elevators at your station are working. 5. Be ready for narrow spaces! When you travel down the aisles of your local supermarket or drug store, you’ll start seeing that this city isn’t really built for your side by side double stroller. You’ll notice how narrow your doctor’s office hallway is. You’ll notice that you might not get yourself and your twins through the gate at the playground. I remember taking my kids to a music class when they were 18 months old, only to get there and find out that my double stroller didn’t even fit in the elevator. Just so you know, the American Disabilities Act states that aisles must be 40 inches wide to accommodate a wheelchair in any newly constructed store. Since most double strollers are around 28 inches, you should have plenty of room; however, this is not always the case. So if you should enter a Duane Reade and knock down a display of Gillette razors that were in the way, that aisle should have been cleared. 6. Stay home? Most parents assume that after three months on maternity leave, they will return to work, get a full-time nanny and go about their days without ever calculating the cost of

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ing at home as an alternative. Before your kids even get here, if possible, sit down and do some math. Figure out how much you pay in commuting transportation, clothing, eating out, business trips, etc. Deduct that from your yearly salary. See what your bottom line is. Now figure out the cost of a nanny, taxes, benefits, items you wouldn’t have to pay for if you were home (such as laundry, ordering food and cleaning services), and deduct that from your salary as well. Some parents find that after all the math is done, the money you are earning isn’t enough to miss all the kids’ firsts and take on the hectic lifestyle that working parents have to deal with. Do the math and find out your true bottom line. 7. Kiss more! With the rate of divorce for parents of multiples being higher than the national average, take a few minutes each day to smooch. Not the kiddies, but your spouse. Make sure that you take a little time for each other to check in every day. Ask how your partner’s day was—and mean it. Hug for no reason. Heck, send a few dirty texts his/her way to spice it up. Moral of the story: Don’t forget your spouse. 8. Don’t be shy. In our city—even though we are 9 million strong—it can be tough to make friends. Once you become a parent, it actually becomes a bit easier. You now have common ground with other parents on the playground. It doesn’t matter if you worked for a top law firm or for McDonald’s, neither of you slept at all last night and, yes, that is dried puke on both of your shirts. Make friends; join our community. NYC has the largest local parents of multiples club in the nation. The Manhattan Twins Club (check out is where I started Twiniversity—an online community for parents in search of information and advice regarding twins. With over 900 members right here in the tri-state area, you can get your questions answered, find a friend and see what other parents are talking about 24 hours a day. 9. Don’t flee the city! I didn’t have a lot of things that other folks in the ‘burbs have (like a backyard to run around or a bathtub to enjoy), but I grew up with street smarts that can never be taught but only learned through experience. The city brought opportunities right to my front door and I tried (and still try) not to pass any up. The twins are the fifth generation of my family growing up in NYC, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Central Park is our backyard. The Metropolitan is our local museum. My kids ate curry and Thai food before they could even talk. I will never have to explain what diversity is because we live it. 10. Life is an adventure—enjoy the ride! Yes, raising kids in this city is challenging. Yes, raising kids in this city is expensive. Yes, raising kids in the city can be hard, but guess what? It will be totally worth it. Speaking from experience, I am one of the only native New Yorkers I know and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Natalie Diaz is a native New Yorker and the founder of Twiniversity. She also writes for New York Family’s baby blog. When not busy running after her 7-year-old twins, she is a twin parenting professional who helps any parent of multiples in need. Have a question for Nat or a question about raising your twins in the city? Email her today at To read NaTalie’s sTraTegies for celebraTiNg wiTh TwiNs, check ouT “happy birThday To you…aNd you, Too!” aT July 2012 | New York Family


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With So Many options in the city—Public, Private, charter and Parochial—Parents need to do their Research To ensure that a child growing up in the city gets a good education, parents really do have to turn themselves into educated consumers—to learn their options and learn how to best assess them. We have four thriving educational sectors—public, private, charter and parochial—and they all have their pros and cons, rules and regulations. New York Family has several wonderful resources to help city parents address their children’s educational needs as they grow up. The Ultimate Guide To Education: We publish our annual Ultimate Guide To Education in October, which is not only the season of transitions and adjustments in schools, it’s also the time for admissions applications. The Ultimate Guide covers all of it, helping parents understand local admissions (in all the sectors),

while also offering stories about news and trends in learning and development, and a parent’s role in their child’s education. You can find the digital edition of the latest Ultimate Guide To Education at The Blackboard Awards: The prestigious Blackboard Awards honor excellence in education throughout the city and in every educational sector, calling upon parents and educators to help us select and celebrate wonderful schools, principals and teachers. By dint of their mission, the Awards are also a resource for parents as they seek out the best education for their children. You can find out more about the Blackboard Awards and read about past winners at the When you visit the site, please be sure to tell us about the schools, principals and teachers of excellence in your family’s life. continued on page 102


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Since 1939, The Mandell School has provided a nurturing and stimulating Pre School environment that emphasizes independence, community and collaborative learning for the children of New York City. Upper West Side

795 Columbus Avenue (between 98th and 99th streets)

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Lincoln Square

Learn more:

150 Amsterdam Avenue (between 66th and 67th Streets)

(212) 222–2925

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EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES For Nursery school aNd Pre-K The Parents league of New york The Independent school admission association of Greater New york (IsaaGNy) The New york city department of education (doe) Victoria Goldman’s The Manhattan Directory Of Private Nursery Schools Also note: Many “preschool alternative” programs are offered by neighborhood education and enrichment centers. See our Classes Directory on page 26. For PublIc school clara hemphill’s various guides to Nyc public schools class size Matters doe (see above) Gotham schools Insideschools Nyc Public school Parents For PrIVaTe school (INdePeNdeNT) IsaaGNy (see above) Nyc Private schools blog The NYC Private School Admissions Handbook The Parents league of New york (see above) Victoria Goldman’s The Manhattan Family Guide To Private Schools And Selective Public Schools


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The Goddard School

For charTer schools doe (see left) New york city charter school center For ParochIal schools archdiocese of New york Also note: For other faith-based schools in the New York City area, we recommend contacting local organizations affiliated with your religion. They should be able to direct you to schools of interest.

The Goddard school (search Manhattan, upper West side) At The Goddard School® teachers nurture the healthy development of children from two years to six years old and encourage each child’s lifelong love of learning. The Goddard School offers families the benefit of on-site owners and education directors who provide dependable management and open communication. Corporate Quality Assurance, accredited professional development, and an individualized program for each child are just a few of the ways that Goddard is defining childcare. Grace church school (opens High School division) The lang school The learning experience (search Manhattan)

NEW SCHOOLS For new public schools check the DOE website and Insideschools, and call your local School District office (which you can find on the DOE website). For new charter schools, check with the New York City Charter School Center. Here a few new (and new-ish) and noteworthy nursery and private schools. avenues ecole Internationale de New york Fusion academy (search New york city) No homework? That’s right, and it’s not the only non-traditional approach to education arriving on the East Coast. Fusion Academies will open four NYCarea campuses this fall. The customized educational experiences involve self-paced classes and one-on-one work. Art and music include film classes, art studios and musical avenues such as performance, production and engineering. Flex schedules, for Fusion kids grades 6th through 12th, allow for semester starts any time and attending school on the student’s schedule.

léman Prep (formerly claremont Prep) Located in historic downtown Manhattan, Léman Manhattan offers rigorous academics delivered by an outstanding faculty. We teach critical thinking skills that are keys to preparing graduates to succeed at top choice colleges. Our Personal Learning Plans challenge and excite students to reach their potential. We offer state-of-the-art facilities including two competition-size pools. We are the only school in Manhattan with sister schools in Europe, Asia, Latin America and throughout the US and an international boarding program that creates a global experience that is second to none. Where does your child go to school? 212-232-0266 EXT. 259 * Janet Barrett, Director of Admissions continued on page 104

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Learning styles vary. Shouldn’t teachers vary with them? In a classroom with just one student and one teacher, the ability for our teachers to engage with students on a deeper level is nearly inevitable. What’s amazing is how our teachers relate to students on a deeper, more personal level, and adapt their teaching method to the strengths of each student.

Get more info at our Taste of Fusion event Tuesday, July 24 5:30-6:30 PM 845 Third Ave. 6th Floor New York, NY 10022 Manhattan 866.430.7677 Long Island 866.426.1188 Westchester 866.622.7853

middle & high school | tutoring & mentoring | enrichment purnell school

Where girls explore, expand and engage their strengths. • Close drive to NYC • Girls 5- and 7-day boarding school grades 9-12 • College preparation in a nurturing environment • Strong emphasis on creative arts • 4:1 student/faculty ratio

Learn more:

51 Pottersville Road, PO Box 500, Pottersville, NJ 07979

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Mandell School Our Pre School is comprised of Toddler, Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten classes. The Mandell environment is designed to support the children’s physical and developmental needs, making the all important transition from home to school happy and fun. The classrooms encourage the development of independence and a sense of community. Through collaborative learning they will develop skills and friendships that will last a lifetime. Our curriculum fosters self-confidence through the mastery of early learning skills and problem solving techniques, always keeping in mind the importance of kindness and compassion. To learn more please call 212-222-2925 or visit Queens Paideia School Speyer Legacy School Upper West Side Playgroup World Class Learning Academy You will be amazed how much your child will achieve at World Class Learning Academy. From the age of two, your child will begin learning a new language. From age three, your child will discover reading. And from the age of four, they will learn a musical instrument. Imagine what your child will achieve by age 11. Chosen by over 1300 schools worldwide, our innovative, international curriculum helps students achieve well beyond expectations for their age. World Class Learning Academy is part of a successful network of international schools where students’ accomplishments rank among the highest in the world.


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La Scuola D’Italia Rooted in Italian and European traditions, La Scuola D’Italia classically educates children ages preschool through high school. The bilingual teaching process includes both Italian and American culture to prepare students to be worldly citizens. Morningside Montessori School MMS provides a warm, nurturing learning environment. Colorful, inviting Montessori materials are used in our three large, sunny classrooms. The curriculum is enriched with music, creative arts, movement, science and physical exploration on our spacious rooftop playground. Small staff/ student ratios allow staff to be receptive to individual needs. Scholarships available. West End Day School West End Day School is an independent elementary school that offers an individualized approach to learning for bright, academically inclined children with emotionally vulnerabilities and/or mild learning or languages differences. We offer a social and emotional perspective while maintaining a balanced yet challenging curriculum and enrichment. A small student-teacher ratio ensures individual attention and encourages a safe, nurturing and specialized environment to grow more sturdy learners. For more information, please contact us at (212) 8735708 or at


TUTORS Big City Tutoring Bright Kids NYC Brownstone Tutors EBL Coaching EBL Coaching offers one-one-one specialized tutoring for students in grades pre-k to 12. They used researchbased, multi-sensory strategies, including the Orton Gillingham technique, to develop reading, writing, reading comprehension, math, organization and study skills. Students are initially assessed by the director, Dr. Levy, and an individualized instructional plan is created. Sessions can be held at the home or at EBL Coaching’s learning center. Specialized tutorial programs for students with dyslexia and learning disabilities are available. (212)249-0147, Launch Math Achievement Centers Kumon Mathnasium Through tutoring and enrichment programs, Mathnasium helps students in grades Pre-K through 12 build a solid math foundation while developing confidence and a love for math. Students receive both homework guidance and a customized program that fills in skill gaps and builds fluency with numbers. Next Level Learning

The city has a small but busy cottage industry of consultants who help parents with nursery, public and private school admissions.

The Princeton Review

Education First

Little Pim Winner of 22 awards, Little Pim will give your young kid a head start with learning a 2nd language. Soon they’ll be saying merci, xiè xiè, and gracias! 10 languages. Gift sets, DVDs, music CDs, flash cards and books.

Private Education Advisory Service (PEAS) School Choice International


School Search NYC Smart City Kids


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VILLA CLAIRMONT Magnificent Hilltop Home in St. Croix with 360 Degree Views

This newly-restored vintage villa sits on the highest hilltop in St. Croix, rewarding guests with unobstructed panoramic views of the entire island. Floor-to-ceiling windows invite the gentle Trade Winds to stream through the main lounge, and a state-of-the-art outdoor bar and veranda provide one of the best outdoor dining and cocktail settings on the island. This highly-anticipated, new construction offers relaxed comfort amidst the finest quality furniture, appliances and amenities. A total of four separate villas make this property the perfect retreat for couples or large families. Our concierge service provides transportation, kitchen provisioning and access to the Carambola Beach Club as well as any other service guests might desire. Please call Tom Pinchbeck at 340.277.1976

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MASTERING THE MAZE Evaluations? Programs? Services? The Good News Is That There Are Lots Of Local Services For Special Needs Children. The Bad News Is That There’s A Learning Curve For Parents BY CRISTINA DIMEN For city parents who suspect their child has a developmental delay, there’s good news—the city offers a wealth of free services for children with special needs, and there are also many experienced professionals in private practice in the city who work with children with special needs. But the bureaucracy around special needs can be confusing and overwhelming, so we asked a few local experts for their guidance. Trust Your Instincts Many children reach developmental milestones within a typical time frame. For example, experts will tell you most children are sitting up between 4 and 7 months old. While it’s important to remember that each child develops differently, parents who suspect their child may have a delay “should trust their instincts—they know their child best,” says Dr. Daniela Montalto, Clinical Director of the Institute for Learning and Academic Achievement at the NYU Child Study Center ( Dr. Montalto advises parents to pay attention to potential delays,


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such as difficulty saying single words by 2 years old, which can indicate a speech or language-learning weakness. Other warning signs for infants and toddlers include not smiling by 3-4 months, not feeding themselves by 8 months and not walking by 15 months, says Dana Rosenbloom, a child and family therapist who works with all types of families but focuses on families with children who have special needs (danaskids. com). She advises parents to talk to their child’s pediatrician about their concerns. If still concerned, parents should have their child evaluated. In NYC, a child can be referred for services by doctors, teachers, child care agencies, social workers and other community-based agencies. Of course, parents can always get recommendations by calling 311 and asking for Early Intervention. Get Evaluated New York City’s Early Intervention Program is funded and regulated by the NYS Department of Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Early Intervention Program (EIP) evaluates children up to age 3 for

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West End Day School: Where children flourish and parents are listened to. At West End Day, smart children with learning, language or social vulnerabilities are taught how to be successful in school—while feeling comfortable. Alliance Nursing is a boutique medical service providing highly qualified Registered Nurses and Home Health Aides for all forms of medical support, elder care and companionship. Our caring and professional staff are available 24/7 to meet your family’s needs. 877-NURSE80 or 1.877.687.7380 Visit our website to learn more:

West End Day School:

Feeding, speech, and language therapy in the privacy of your home! Our speech pathologists are trained in a variety of techniques and work with children of all ages.

• A comprehensive educational curriculum that addresses all learning styles. • Integrates a psychological approach to learning. Here, Feelings Count. • Offers an individualized approach for each child that is carried out by a team of professionals who work together to truly address the whole child. • Partners with parents because they play a vital role in their child’s success. 255 West 71st Street New York, NY 10023

New clients get 15% off the first five sessions!

Admissions office: (212) 873-5708, ext. 303


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a variety of home-based therapeutic services. From ages 3 to 5 years, the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), also regulated and funded by both NYS and NYC, assesses eligibility for both home- and facility-based services. Once the initial evaluations are complete, you will find out if your child is eligible for services. At this point in Early Intervention, an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) is created. In CPSE, it is referred to as an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Eligibility criteria are different in EI and CPSE. In both programs, services can include but are not limited to speech, physical, occupational and special education therapy sessions. In EI and CPSE, evaluations and services for eligible children are free. Within the private sector, organizations like the NYU Child Study Center offer comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations of a child’s attention, memory and social and emotional development. (See sidebar for more on where to get evaluated in NYC.) Consider Your Options Many public and private school options exist for children with special needs. Rosenbloom explains that in Early Intervention, each child is given a Case Coordinator who will work with parents to determine which early childhood programs and services will best meet their child’s needs. In CPSE, the Committee will help a parent evaluate choices. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that children be educated in the “least restrictive environment.” This means that CPSE will consider providing special education services in an environment with age-appropriate, typically developing peers. (Rosenbloom cites YAI/NYL Gramercy School and as a popular and well-regarded early childhood program for children with special needs.) Once a child has reached age 5 (and up to 21 years old), the Committee on Special Education (CSE) provides evaluation and services. If your child has been receiving CPSE services, during the year prior to kindergarten, the Committee will decide if your child continues to require special education services. The CSE will recommend that your child either receives these services in a public school environment or in another educational setting. In public school, Collaborative Team Teaching (CTT) classes taught

by two teachers, one trained in special education, are increasingly common. Children who are struggling in specific areas, such as math or reading, receive small group instruction, while the rest of the class listens to the general education teacher. Afterward, all students engage in mainstream learning. “Evaluations indicate if children will benefit from CTT classes, where half of the kids have no learning disabilities,” Dr. Montalto says. “Observing general education children who perform in a stronger way enables some kids with special needs to adapt what they see to their own style.” CTT classes can also be beneficial for typically-developing children “whose self esteem is built while they are helping others,” Rosenbloom adds. But she also points out that CTT classes aren’t the best fit for everyone, especially students with more significant developmental needs. Seek Legal Counsel Parents choose to forego public school options for various reasons, including the absence of programs equipped to meet their child’s specific learning needs. Upon enrolling their child in a private school, these parents often seek tuition reimbursement by filing a lawsuit against the Department of Education (DOE), stating that “the DOE failed to offer their child the statutory right to a free and appropriate public education,” explains Regina Skyer of the Law Offices of Regina Skyer & Associates (, a firm that specializes in advocating for children with special education needs. While there’s no guarantee that families will win the case and recoup tuition costs, Skyer recommends parents work with an attorney specialized in advocating, mediating and litigating for kids with learning disabilities. She notes that the multi-step process is complex, and it’s best if the child has been privately evaluated. Also, unless parents choose a private program from a list of approved schools, they’ll have to reapply each year. She recommends parents attend workshops on the subject such as those hosted by private schools or the JCC in Manhattan.

For more special needs coverage, see the November issue of New York Family.

BIG TIP: Special Needs Evaluation Centers And Advocacy Groups In addition to contacting the following providers, parents can call 311 and ask for Early Intervention. Also, parents can view a list of city-approved evaluation providers by borough at ABC Early Intervention Program Advocates For Children Bank Street Family Center Child Mind Institute Early Childhood Associates Important Steps Los Ninos Services NYU Child Study Center TheraCare YAI/NYL Gramercy School


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OTHER RESOURCES Ask Stefanie Dana’s Kids Gigi’s Playhouse (search New York) New York Child Development New York Child Development is a private practice dedicated to providing infants and children with developmental, neurological and biological diagnoses. The clinical team focuses on feeding, speech and language delays. This is done not only through fostering a relationship with the child, but also by supporting and advising the entire family. New York Special Needs Support

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real estate


To Look For In A

Building try Our “Kid-Friendly” Barometer

By Kathy Bishop and Julia Whitehead Does living in a kid-friendly apartment building really make a difference? Let’s put it this way: Would you choose a babysitter or pediatrician who wasn’t kid-friendly? To find out if a particular building is up to scratch, check for the following:


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Cleanliness, Security, Safety Of Public Areas Why: It says a lot about how a building is operated and maintained—and how short of a leash you should be prepared to keep your kids on for safety reasons. Do Your Research: Is the building entrance well-lit? Is the external door solid with a working deadbolt? Does the building have audio-video security? How easy is it for non-residents to get in the building? Is there more than one entrance? If there’s a doorman, does he check with residents before letting guests into the building? Throughout the building, look out for lights that are out, peeling paint, the general dirt and grime level and wires hanging out of windows. The more signs of decrepitude, the more likely the building is under-maintained and may be in financial difficulty. Also, check for emergency lighting for sprinkler systems. Do the halls have fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and fire alarms? This will help you see how up-todate the building is for handling emergencies. And if you’re buying the apartment, request to see the building’s repair log. Doorman Why: A doorman can cut down on unwanted intruders and help you manage getting your kids into the building in one piece. Do Your Research: Ask the managing agent for the exact hours and days of duty, especially if it’s important to you that the door is manned 24/7. Resident Super Why: It can make a real difference to have assistance with middle-of-the-night emergencies like clogged toilets. Do Your Research: Ask the managing agent about the super. Find out what hours he’s in the building, where he’s located when he’s not there and how he can be reached. Occupant Demographics Why: There’s safety and fun in numbers. Your neighbors can shape the building’s attitude toward children and provide potential playmates and emergency child care backup. Do Your Research: Use your eyes to determine whether there are kid residents. Ask to see a bike room and check for

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children’s equipment. See if the doors and halls have kids’ artwork. Check if there are window guards. And feel free to ask about the residents directly; you’re entitled to know ahead of time.


Laundry Facilities Why: It’s critical with kids. Having facilities in your unit is heavenly; having them in the building is important. Do Your Research: Ask your agent or super about the facilities. If they’re shared, ask to see them and inquire about peak usage times. In a family building, it’s best to have one washer and dryer for every 8 to 10 units. If there are many single residents, fewer is fine.

Street Easy

Storage Why: Kids have lots of stuff. Any extra space, from lockers to bike rooms, minimizes apartment clutter. Do Your Research: Ask your agent or super if there is a communal storage room. If lockers are available, ask about the cost and waiting list for one. Apartment Configurations Why: Bigger units indicate more resident families and opportunities for moving into a larger unit or combining units. Do Your Research: Ask the building agent or manager for the various apartment configurations and how many of each size are in the building. Play Spaces Why: Indoor play areas are great on rainy days, but outdoor play spaces get the most use. Do Your Research: Look around and ask to see any kid-friendly or communal spaces. Neighborhood Schools Why: Need we say more? Do Your Research: For public schools, refer to the Department of Education ( and Insideschools ( For private schools, try the Independent School Admission Association ( and the Parents League ( Kathy Bishop and Julia Whitehead are the co-authors of The City Parent Handbook.

FOR hOmE LiSTingS Craigslist The new York Times

FOR bROkERS (And ThEiR LiSTingS) brown harris Stevens Corcoran group halstead Property Prudential douglas Elliman Sotheby’s Realty For new developments And Other “hot” buildings Street Easy is a reliable source for news of buildings that are new on the market or about to become available, as are the major brokerages listed above, which all have divisions that market buildings. You should also check out the websites of noted residential developers that are known for their work in the city: Extell development Company

glenwood Glenwood’s Paramount Tower: Located at 240 East 39th Street, every detail of Paramount Tower delivers exceptional luxury rental living. From the private semi-circular driveway and landscaped entrance to the elegant lobby and superb finishes throughout, every aspect boasts Glenwood’s signature attention to quality. Spacious residences range from one-, two- and three-bedroom homes. Full-service amenities include 24hour doorman; cheerful children’s playroom and state-of-the-art swim and fitness center with landscaped, furnished sun terrace, 55-foot lap pool and saunas. For additional information, call 212.430.5900. Related TF Cornerstone July 2012 | New York Family


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food & dining

Dining with the


A Roster of The “Best” Kid-friendly Restaurants in nYC By Carla Sullivan

Navigating the restaurant scene in Manhattan can be daunting for even the most seasoned New Yorker. Then throw a kid or two or three into the mix (yes, I have three), and the task of finding the perfect place to eat can be impossible—or, worse, a complete disaster. That’s why I started, to help families sift through thousands of restaurant options in NYC and pinpoint exactly what they want. And while determining the “best” restaurant to take kids to in Manhattan is like finding the best museum in the city—it depends on what you’re looking for—over the years I’ve found a few golden standards for every occasion. Happy munching!


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Best Place When Stuck In Times Square Ellen’s Stardust Diner 1650 Broadway at 51st Street Yes, Ellen’s Stardust Diner is touristy, but what child (or adult) can resist a ’50s style diner with singing wait staff? The food is a bit pricey—and not gourmet—but there is really something for everyone here, and the fun of listening to your waiter belt out Broadway tunes and top hits is really what you come for anyway. Best BBQ Joint Blue Smoke 116 East 27th Street or 255 Vesey Street This recommendation is coming from a girl who doesn’t even eat ribs, but I attribute my son’s rib addiction to Blue Smoke. It’s unclear whether it’s the ribs themselves or the ultra kid-friendly touches in either location (think: great kids menu and the cookie “pig” that kids decorate, which is then baked while you eat), but Blue Smoke is a serious go-to for great family-friendly BBQ. Best Place To Take Your Princess American Girl Café 609 Fifth Avenue This one might surprise you, but the food is actually extremely tasty both for kids and adults. (And I love the set up for the dolls: little high chairs so they can sit next to their “mommy.”) The pink-andwhite décor is adorable, and you will have a great time “interviewing” your daughter with the age-appropriate questions, like what she wants to do when she grows up. The biggest drawback? You might not get out of there without buying your daughter a new doll. Most Hip Kid-Friendly Restaurant Schiller’s Liquor Bar 31 Rivington Street You know the LES is getting gentrified when the “hot” restaurants are including kids menus! If you are a NYC hipster and are looking to take your kids along for your culinary adventures, then Schillers is the place to go. A set price ($12.50) gets kids a drink, entrée and dessert—plus bragging rights for being “seen” at somewhere so cool.

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Best Place To Shake It At Sunday Brunch Ideya 349 Broadway One Sunday a month, this Latin bistro hosts a SalsaBaby brunch. Kids are encouraged to get up and shake their groove thang to the live tunes of the Jose Conde band with maracas on each table. Minis who don’t like to dance will enjoy decorating the table paper with stickers and crayons; adults, the margaritas are heavenly! Best View Of Central Park Landmarc 10 Columbus Circle (in the Time Warner building) Landmarc has one of the greatest children’s menus I have ever encountered. Serving up everything from green eggs and ham to PB & Nutella to whole wheat quesadillas, Chef Marc Murphy really knows how to satisfy even the pickiest eater. The breathtaking view of Central Park South alone is worth the trip. Best Outdoor Dining Gigino at Wagner Park 20 Battery Place Not only is there a beautiful view of the Hudson River from Gigino’s patio, but there is also a large lawn (yes, grass in NYC) that the kids are encouraged to run around on while waiting for their food. With ambience like this, who cares what’s on the menu! (But in case you were wondering, it’s definitely good.) Most Unexpected “OMG They Have A Kids Menu” The Palm Tribeca 206 West Street Mahogany bar, steaks big enough for two, businessmen drinking martinis, lobsters served by the pound, kids at the bar. Believe it or not, at The Palm TriBeCa, it’s a winning formula. Kids are welcomed at this tried-and-true NYC steakhouse. The prices and portions are on the large side, but it’s a nice alternative when looking for an upscale dining option with the little ones.

Best Value Brother Jimmy’s BBQ 5 locations between 16th and 81st Streets Not only does Brother Jimmy’s offer a great kids menu and allow you to choose accompanying sides, but kids under 12 also eat for free with each adult entrée. Minis who join the “clean plate club” also are treated to a free ice cream scoop! Best “If My Kids Ate Sushi…” SushiSamba 245 Park Avenue or 87 Seventh Avenue Not that sushi is the only thing on the children’s menu (there is grilled chicken and mini burgers), but for the more sophisticated palates, this fun hot spot offers bite-sized starter sushi. Added bonus: kids absolutely love the rooftop garden at the downtown location. Best Diner Big Daddy’s 239 Park Avenue South, 1596 Second Avenue or 2452 Broadway Dispel all thoughts of a crowded diner where you have to fight for a table and then are rushed out. Big Daddy’s is a fun upscale diner that loves kids as much as the kids love it. The décor and music are enough of a distraction, without the crayons and balloons, and the tater tots and milkshakes keep my minis begging to return. Best Museum Dining Smorgas Chef (Murray Hill branch) 58 Park Avenue A pleasant surprise in an otherwise tough area for kid-friendly options, Smorgas Chef is located in the Scandinavia House. It has a different kind of kids menu, but my mini devoured his Swedish meatballs and loved the live tree that is in the middle of the café-style restaurant. Scandinavia House also features an amazing indoor playspace that is open to the public for $8 every Saturday. Carla Sullivan is the founder of, the Internet’s only source and resource for restaurants that are kid-friendly in Manhattan. Carla is also a regular contributor to New York Family’s Yummy Delicious blog and loves to eat out with her kids, Ryan, Keelin and Kelly. July 2012 | New York Family


6/23/12 12:53 PM


THE SPAC E WE NEED Why Manhattan’s Crowded Streets And Close Neighbors Give This City Mom’s Family Just The Right Amount Of Room

BY TALI ROSENBLATT-COHEN Disclaimer: This is not meant as a city mom vs. country mom rant. I’ve heard one too many iterations of the mommy wars these days. This is my ode to the city and a reminder to my husband (a tree lover) why we’re staying put. (Got it, hubby?) Every month, it seems, I hear of another friend decamping to suburbia. Certainly, the simple math of square footage divided by children makes moving out of the city a good solution. As it happens, we are fortunate to have room to spread out, but undoubtedly, for all families, there is more space to be had elsewhere—to run around outside, to scatter the clutter amongst various rooms, and to put some grass between us and our neighbors. I understand all the inducements, but for me, it’s a conscious choice to stay in the city. I could list all the classic New York City experiences that I cherish: seeing my kids splashing in the fountains behind the American Museum of Natural History, watching the fireworks in Central Park, or sledding down the snowy hills in Riverside Park. But those moments are just moments, and I recognize that every town has its own magic. Ironically, it’s the lack of space that appeals to me. The vertical living, the packed sidewalks, the noisy neighborhood playground, the knowledge that without walking more than five feet, I’m likely to meet someone with a life completely different from my own. These are some of the reasons why I stay in the city. My children believe that floors everywhere house a mysterious species called “neighbors” who don’t like noise; they have learned the run ahead/stay close navigation of city blocks; and they have enacted elaborate games with kids of all ages in the park. In short, they have learned to accommodate living with others. And so have I. Apartment buildings are the sandbox writ large. In my building, I am close with a woman who has become an invaluable friend. She was the one to come running up to our apartment when we were about to leave for the hospital to give birth to our third child and our planned child care hadn’t yet arrived. Her kids are just a few stages beyond mine and I take solace in both her coffee and


New York Family | July 2012

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her advice. I also have a famously cantankerous next-door neighbor who summoned child protective services at 2am on the morning that we were finally sleep training our then one-year-old son. (For the record, the baby had only cried for 45 minutes, and the officers were quite apologetic—but I digress.) That neighbor, I could live without. But in the name of growth and self-development and other Oprah-esque goals, I’ll choose to appreciate the lessons learned from all of my neighborly experiences. With the world seeming ever more polarized, I am grateful that even when we bump up against those we disagree with, in this city, we can only go so far to retreat into our own corners. Despite the overwhelming wealth of Manhattan, my apartment on the Upper West Side is two blocks from public housing and my daughter’s preschool also houses a men’s homeless shelter, with the children frequently packing sandwiches for the residents. If my goal is to teach my children what it means to be a contributing member of society, what more powerful means do I have than providing them with opportunities to do their part? In the big city, it’s easy to feel anonymous. I love peoplewatching on a subway packed with strangers. And yet, I’m amazed at the way I can greet my pharmacist, grocery deliverymen and local doormen by name. I appreciate that I can be part of a dozen little villages—a preschool, an elementary school, a synagogue, an apartment building, a playground—a neighborhood, in effect, with intersecting but not quite overlapping circles of friends. Amidst the enormity of the city, it is our attachment to these various communities that comprises our distinct family identity. These days, New York City neighborhoods can seem a lot more homogenous than in the past. Even so, walking down a city street, you are likely to encounter every possible representation of humanity—for the most part, giving each other space. And that is the space I hope to provide for my kids. Tali Rosenblatt-Cohen is a mother of three (all of whom will be in school come September. Hooray!). She and her family live on the Upper West Side.

6/23/12 12:39 PM

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New York Family July 1, 2012  

New York Family is a monthly family lifestyle magazine focused on the interests, needs, and concerns of New York City parents. The print pub...

New York Family July 1, 2012  

New York Family is a monthly family lifestyle magazine focused on the interests, needs, and concerns of New York City parents. The print pub...