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August 2019 established 1986

newyorkfamily.com

LaTonya Yvette

shares her take on mothering, personal style, and how color for her is a whole experience

50 Things To Do in NYC this Summer with Kids

the best Ice Cream Shops The Ultimate Family Guide to

Domino Park Our First Parents’

Book Club! Back-to-School

Backpacks


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contents

August 2019

NewYorkFamily.com

pg. 16

pg. 36

FEATURES 36 | Incredible LaTonya Yvette Brooklyn-based author and blogger LaTonya Yvette gives us her take on mothering, personal style, and how color for her is a whole experience

Stories/columns 8 | Editor’s Note Summer in the city 10 | Contributors Meet some of our fantastic writers of New York Family

42 | School Admissions Timely tips and guidelines for elementary, middle school, junior high and high school admissions

12 | Ask the Expert Having the conversation with your tweens about puberty

48 | Preschool When you feel it’s time for your child to attend a preschool, here is our advice to get you started

18 | Parent’s Book Club Welcome to our first book club! We have the perfect beach read in Idra Novey’s Those Who Knew

52 | 50 Things To Do in NYC this Summer with Kids Our awesome list of kid-friendly activities in the city this summer

16 | Smart Parenting More families are using family safe words, here is how to choose them 22 | Sports Classes in axe throwing, ninja skills, parkour, kayaking and skateboarding for the kids

on the Cover Photo: Yumi Matsuo | yumimatsuostudio.com Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | buffysaintmarie.com Jumpsuit: Apiece Apart | apieceapart.com

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pg. 30

pg. 26

26 | Mom Hacks Browse our top ten picks for backpacks for back to school and get your kiddos ready for the school year!

30 | Family Day Out The latest scoop on the best ice cream shops in NYC and must-try flavors! 64 | Mom Stories How to be a New Yorker. One mom’s words of wisdom to her daughter 66 | We Asked Parents share on cherishing last days of Summer

Home & Away 56 | Neighborhood Guide: Domino Park Plan your day at this chock-full fun park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn 58 | Travel Mohonk Mountain House — unplug at this tranquil nature retreat

Family fun 60 | Calendar Great kid-friendly August events in Manhattan and not-to-be-missed events around the city


August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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New York Family | August 2019


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Editor’s Note

NewYorkFamily.com Publisher: Cliff Luster Publisher: Susan Weiss Associate Publisher: Mary Ann Oklesson Creative Director-At-Large: Hester Aba Executive Editor: Donna Duarte-Ladd Digital Editor: Katarina Avendaño Partnership Managers: Erik Bliss, Erin Brof, Mary Cassidy, Shelli Goldberg-Peck Marketing Assistant: Charlotte Sauvagnat Art Director: Leah Mitch Web Developer: Sylvan Migdal Nina Gallo Photography

Summer in the City

I

love New York. One moment you are cursing the train schedule, the next, a kind stranger helps you carry a bulky stroller up those never-ending stairs. If you are from here or a transplant, you know that this city is like no other and becomes part of the fabric of your being. This is why How to be a New Yorker (page 64) is a must-read and genuinely inspiring. Speaking of inspiration, our cover story on lifestyle blogger and stylist LaTonya Yvette, Incredible LaTonya (page 36) filled us with gratitude for mothers who share their stories with others. This Brooklyn mom is honest and frank when it comes to life in

general and mothering. Summer in the city is also hot, so while you’re out, you are going to want to research our story on The Best Ice Cream Shops in NYC (page 30). Try them all, it’s Summer (and research)! We know you are always looking for things to do with the kids, so we have you covered with 50 Things To In NYC this Summer with Kids (page 52). Visiting Domino Park with the Family (page 56)? Check out our tips on how to plan your day at this gorgeous spot. Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! Donna Ladd

Graphic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti Editorial Interns: Michael Davis, Sarah Jackson, Mia Salas

Contact Information

ADVERTISING: (718) 260-4554 Advertising@NewYorkFamily.com Circulation: (718) 260-8336 Tina@NewYorkFamily.com

Address: New York Family Media/Schenps Media 1 MetroTech Center North, Third Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201

President & Publisher: Victoria Schneps-Yunis CEO & Co-Publisher: Joshua Schneps

New York Family has been recognized for editorial and design excellence by PMA. New York Family is published monthly by Queens Family Media, LLC.

get in touch Share your feedback and ideas about family life in the city! Email us at editorial@newyorkfamily.com and tag us at #newyorkfamily

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New York Family | August 2019

Reproduction of New York Family Media in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. ©2019 Queens Family Media, LLC


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contributors

Bird Brooklyn Thank you to the team at Bird Williamsburg for providing gorgeous clothes for our cover mom LaTonya Yvette. Founded in 1999 by former fashion buyer Jen Mankins — Bird Brooklyn supports emerging and established designers. Bird also carries many local designers and their eclectic and beautiful collections. Check out birdbrooklyn.com to shop the website. Bird Brooklyn 203 Grand Street Brooklyn, NY 11211 718–388–1655 grand@birdbrooklyn.com

Jessica Antola

Cobble Hill 220 Smith Street Brooklyn, 11201 718-797–3774 smith@birdbrooklyn.com

Fort Greene 85 Lafayette Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11217 718-858-8667 lafayette@birdbrooklyn.com

Park Slope 316 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215 718-768–4940 fifth@birdbrooklyn.com

Cris Pearlstein

Jana Beauchamp

Samantha Huggins

This born-and-bred New Yorker shared her mom wisdom in How to Be a New Yorker (page 64). Cris currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband, 17-month-old daughter, and mini doxie. She is a veteran of the magazine industry — serving as a fashion editor and stylist for over 12 years — but now is a full-time mom and part-time writer. Most mornings, you’ll find Cris in the kitchen, cooking up tasty kid-friendly meals for her toddler daughter.

A freelance journalist based in New York City, who has been with New York Family since 2012. She dreamed of landing Tom Hank’s job in the movie Big, but when she learned, it was a fictitious role she naturally pursued a career in foreign policy. Jana had the hard task of finding The Best Ice Cream Shops in NYC (page 30). Presently Jana now works on her writing, staying active in philanthropic work and feels her most important job is being a magnificent mom of two.

A birth and postpartum doula, childbirth educator, doula trainer, CBC, parent, and curriculum builder. A founding member and educator of Carriage House Birth — she works vigilantly to redefine doula work and contemporary parenting. Also, a mom ‘who gets it’ she writes about Talking to Your Tweens About Puberty (page 12). Samantha is the mother of two, wife to one and friend to many. She exercises, explores the culinary riches of NYC, and spends time with friends and family as purposeful acts of self-love.

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New York Family | August 2019


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ASK THE EXPERT

THE TALK Softening the conversation with your tweens about puberty When our kids start asking questions about their bodies and the changes that are happening, then it’s time to have the puberty talk BY SAMANTHA HUGGINS

I

literally don’t remember talking to my mom about bodies or sex. I think it’s because it wasn’t a single sit-down conversation. Instead, the conversation as woven into the many years of my young life. We had a pretty open home. It was just my mom and me and we had no issues around bodies and didn’t hide ourselves. I watched her shave her legs in the shower. I knew where the tampons and pads were. I knew my mom had a couple of boyfriends over the years. I even accidentally landed on one of them once in my mom’s bed as I sailed through the air during a storm. I woke during a particularly loud and scary clap of thunder and with a running start, I jumped from her doorway so that there would be enough breadth between my jumping point and my mom’s bed. This way the murderous thunder creatures hiding underneath her bed couldn’t grab my ankles. I think we all almost died of fright that night. I do, however, remember taking sex ed at school and wondering why this was happening. I grew up in a conservative state in the southwest, so sex education was more about teaching the girls and boys separately about bodies and periods and, at least in my class, how girls could still go to ballet and go to school even if we felt crampy. The girls were taken into a separate room and we all plunked down on the brown thinly carpeted floor to watch the clunky tube tv that sat on a tall tower so no one would just be looking at the back of someone else’s head. I remember

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New York Family | August 2019


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a ballerina and a swimmer on the video. I remember their shame and embarrassment as they discovered with quiet, awkward horror that they too hadn’t escaped from the fate of most women. They were bleeding from their vaginas. And it was HORRIBLE. We learned about how to discretely tell the school nurse or our mothers when we had cramps. We learned that we couldn’t use tampons until we were older because it would hurt our hymens. We were taught discretionary techniques like how to sneak a pad into a bathroom tucked into the long sleeve of our shirt or how to bury that barbie bed deep in our shallow pockets that were only good for holding a sticker or a single house key. At all costs, we were not to make the boys in our lives uncomfortable about our bodies. And then, of course, we learned about cis-gendered bodies and heteronormative, missionary, penetrative sex that led to pregnancy. Flash forward! Here we are. Parents ourselves. Liberated! Inclusive! Appalled by the talks we had with our parents and the education we received in school. We have come so far! And then your 6-year-old starts asking questions about how babies get in bellies, your four-year-old notices that their sister doesn’t have a penis and they both want to know what tampons are for and where they disappear to when you’re sitting on the toilet. Ugh. While we thought “the talk” might happen with a broody tween, the conversation actually starts WAY before you were ready for it. In fact, it really starts as soon as you start talking with your infant. I often get asked about what’s normal, what’s too much, when is it too early or too late. The answer is, it’s different for everyone. I propose that we move away from “the talk” being delivered as a singular and rattling conversation and that we move towards delivering information organically, as it comes up. Like weaving little threads of awareness into the fabric of their young lives. Below I offer a few tips and tricks on how to integrate some of the foundations about human bodies, how they work, their relationships to themselves, responsibilities that come with the bodies they have and sexuality into the home. Let the kids lead: I think the quickest and easiest start is to meet your kids wherever they are. A great gauge is to just let your kids lead. Then take it from there. Pace yourself. Consider asking your kids about why they are asking a question without

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New York Family | August 2019

I propose that we move away from “the talk” being delivered as a singular and rattling conversation and that we move towards delivering information organically, as it comes up. judgment and what they want to know before you start rattling off the facts. Be real: Please use the correct names for genitalia. The reason that we cringe at the word penis or vulva is probably Pavlovian. Chances are we were taught to whisper those words at home, were told to call them something cuter. Who-ha, wee wee, etc. And most kids were, and still are, punished for using those words at school. This is damaging to how we relate with the bodies we have and the ones that the people we interact with. In fact, most adults don’t even actually know where the vagina is. Spoiler alert – it’s the orifice in the middle of the vulva that’s protected by the labia. Nor can most adults name the various, and important, parts of a vulva. If this is you, no shade, you are far from alone and also, google! Consider using the correct terms in your home with your kids. Plain-faced. With the same tone as you would if you were talking about an eyeball or a knee. No taboos: If you have a household with a person who menstruates, or even if you don’t but just have friends who might, consider owning and not hiding supportive period products from anyone. Tampons, pads, cups, period underwear, etc can all be kept in reachable and accessible places. Maybe next to the toilet paper under the sink or in a drawer next to a hairbrush if you don’t like clutter. In our home, the tampons go right on the counter in a cute jar. When they are being unpacked from the shopping

bags, your kids can put them away. A healthy family is a community effort! Just like you know in the deepest part of you who you are, for the most part, your kids will too. But while they are really figuring that out, let the questions come organically. I remember rushing one morning to fit a shower in before work when one of my kids drifting into the bathroom and with the tiniest, cutest, most innocent voice, asked – “Mama, what’s sex?”. In my mind, I thought this conversation would come in about five more years and on a sun-drenched day when the house was well organized, we would have hours to talk and my partner would at least be home. I took a breath, opened the shower curtain and said, “There are so many ways that I can answer that question. Right now, I have to get ready for work and I really want to take time answering this for you. Can we talk about it when we have time?” They agreed. And then when everyone was ready to sit down and talk, I started by asking what they wanted to know about it. It turned out, at the age of 7, all they really wanted to know was why some people kissed for long times and other people didn’t. And that was as far as the conversation went that day. Since this question - we have built on this topic with more indepth answers and conversations coupled with a few great books and online resources. Depending on the age of your child or where you are in the conversation, you can look at these resources together or separately. Here are some of my favorite online and book resources: • plannedparenthood.com • talkwithyourkids.org • What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Girls by Lynda Madaras and Martin Anderson • Celebrate Your Body (and Its Changes, Too!) by Sonya Renee Taylor

Samantha Huggins is a birth and postpartum doula, childbirth educator, doula trainer, CBC, parent and curriculum builder. As a founding member of Carriage House Birth, Samantha works vigilantly to redefine doula work and contemporary parenting. She oversees CHB Education focusing primarily on curriculum building, elevating doula professionalism, and training doulas. Samantha is deeply committed to this work and creating a model of care that is sustainable and works for all people. Samantha is the mother of two, wife to one and friend to many.


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smart parenting

Family Safe Words More parents are using a code word when it comes to family safety. Here is why I use this safety measure By Donna LaDD

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e have a family safe word. In our family, we always discuss the importance of his safety with our oldest child. From an early age, he was jumping on strangers’ laps at the park and giving out hugs. When he was at this young age, I wanted him to be more cautious. As most parents know — not so easy when they are toddlers. Frankly, I hate as a parent that we have to have ‘the safety conversation.’ This feels like the beginning of when the world of rainbows and sunshine starts to fade a bit when, as parents, we have to share that there are not good people out there. How my husband and I describe unsafe situations is that anyone who wants to harm them will go to great lengths to do this. We have also stressed, and as a parent, I feel this part is vital to share with your children, that the ‘boogie man’ can look just like us. They also can be someone the kid ‘kind of’ knows. What is a family safe word? A family safe word is a code term that you, as a family, decide and use as a safety measure.

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The point of the family safe word is that it is for the immediate family only and is there to help keep our children stay safe. How does a family safe word work? Every family is unique on how they use the family safe word. How you use the family safe word is according to your family guidelines. Some families use the word for their child as their child’s way of communicating if they are uncomfortable or in a threatening situation. For example, if child X is at a family gathering and someone related or non-related has made child X uncomfortable, then child X uses this word as a code word. This allows your child to feel they can communicate with their parents if they are in some type of profoundly uncomfortable situation. Other families save it for more narrow situations. This can be strictly when out in public places such as amusement parks or museums. It is best not to abuse the word. This is an emergency only word and should be treated as such. How to choose a family safe word For starters, the family safe word should

not be a word your family uses daily. The word doesn’t have to be super complicated but should not be a word easy to find out via social media. Not your pet turtle’s name, not a nickname. Be creative and think out of the box and repeat the word for the first few weeks in private. During dinner is a great time. Some websites list the common safe words that you can pick for your family. However, now that these words are listed out in the world, how are they safe? An example of a safe word? Bacteria. Yup, it’s a bit weird, but it’s not that hard to remember a word like bacteria. My suggestion is to choose a word that someone outside of the family would never guess is your safe word. Word rules It is a good idea to go over the ground rules with your children on the terms of how you use this word. Once you share the word (for whatever reason, it’s life-situations happen), then a new word needs to be picked. It is important to remember that a family safe word is a step in overall safety for your family. A family safe word is not a green light for your child to take off with a stranger if they have miraculously guessed the word. Explaining how overall safety looks for your family is key. There is no right or wrong. This is how safety looks for my family. How your family implements safety is for your comfort level and your parenting prerogative.


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Parent’s Book CluB

Discover New Stories with Us!

Idra novey

AugusT Theme:

Beach Read By Mia SalaS

W

hat exactly is a “Beach Read”? We love Edan Lepucki’s, author of Woman No. 17 and California description: “It means my novel has the power to engage a reader who is sitting before an enormous, stunning body of water, and still decides to look down at a piece of paper with a bunch of words.”

Those Who Knew Idra Novey

A young woman, Lena, suspects that the powerful senator who she was involved

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with is behind the death of another young woman due to her previous violent incident with him that ended their relationship. Why didn’t Lena speak up then? Those Who Knew explores the cost of staying silent and the mixed rewards of speaking up in a divided country. Idra Novey is the author of Those Who Knew, a Best Book of 2018 with NPR, Esquire, BBC, Kirkus Review, O Magazine, and a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her first novel Ways to Disappear, received the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize and the 2016 Brooklyn Public Library Prize, and was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction.

Welcome to New York Family’s Parent’s Book Club! Every month, we feature a different Monthly Pick novel in accordance with a theme. All of our Monthly Pick novels have several copies available in the New York Public Library. We encourage you to start your own book club with friends, loved ones, and neighbors, using our Monthly Pick as your book of the month. Host meetings to discuss the novel with our discussion questions, and enrich your perspective of the book with our author interview on NewYorkFamily.com. We hope to connect NYC families, introduce subjects in tune with today’s society, and encourage more “me time” for parents.

She teaches creative writing at Princeton University. To read our interview with Idra Novey, visit NewYorkFamily.com! Idra Novey shares her motivation for writing Those Who Knew and what she hopes that readers take away: “From the first draft, the driving question in this novel was about consequences, who gets them and who doesn’t. I didn’t know,


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parent’s Book CluB

Discussion Questions You read the book, now we have the discussion questions here to guide your book club meeting! We hope that these questions will spark thought-provoking, intellectual, and even controversial discussions about the novel.

initially, how the untried crime that connects the characters in the book would impact the kind of parents they become, but I knew they would all end up raising children and the silence around this crime would continue to haunt them. “It has been really powerful hearing at book events from readers about their experiences resigning themselves to silence for similar reasons that Lena does. But this book has led to many joyful, invigorating conversations, too, about collective action and the fun of wearing fake beards and imagining revolutions with a true and lasting friend. When Lena finally convinces herself to speak up, she returns to her memory of nursing her son in her friend’s bookstore, how uninhibited and joyful she felt there. I hope readers will finish this novel with a renewed sense of hope of what a few friends brainstorming together in a bookstore might someday achieve in their country.”

We hope that you enjoyed reading and discussing Idra Novey’s Those Who Knew. Get ready for New York Family’s Parent’s Book Club’s Monthly Pick in September, which was an instant New York Times Bestseller, published in June. Here’s a hint: it’s everything you could want in a novel!

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1. “Precisely a week after the death of Maria P. was declared an accident, a woman reached into her tote bag and found a sweater inside that didn’t belong to her” (pg. 3): Why do you think Novey begins the story this way? Why refer to Lena as “a woman” instead of using her name? 2. Much of the story takes place on an unnamed island. What was the effect of this island being unnamed for you and why do you think Novey chose not to name it? 3. How does the title, Those Who Knew, relate to your understanding of the novel? 4. Although the “Me Too” movement is increasingly prevalent and impactful in society, it is still difficult to speak up after a traumatic event, seen through Lena’s struggle. In your opinion, what is the importance of speaking up about sexual assault and harassment? 5. Who was your favorite character in the novel, and why? 6. The structure resists a traditional, chronological form. What forms of narration are present in the novel? What was the effect of this structure in your reading of the novel? 7. Do you think that Lena should have told Oscar earlier about Cosmo? 8. There’s a running theme of escape in this novel – escaping family, history, relationships, and immoral acts. Yet the novel also asserts the past’s role in the present. How do the characters each handle their past, such as Lena’s relationship with her family or Oscar’s past with Lena? How do we use the past as an effective tool in our present? 9. Consider the depictions of friendship in this novel. What is the dynamic of each of these friendships, and how do they move the novel forward? 10. In many ways, Lena and Freddy’s struggle of whether to speak up about Victor is quite similar. Do you have sympathy for both of their motivations

in staying quiet for so long? 11. Some people in today’s society argue that the “Me Too” movement has gone too far. According to these people, wrongful accusations destroy careers. How does Those Who Knew speak to the “Me Too” movement? 12. Consider the power balance in the various relationships between characters. How do characters gain power over each other? How does gender factor into power? Think about places in the novel when the original power dynamics shift. 13. There are several signs or objects of reference to Maria. What do you think is the purpose of these signs? Do you think that the sweater and bra really belonged to Maria, or does Lena imagine this? 14. There are references to the feeling of not existing, of being silenced, in this novel. Why do Lena and Cristina feel as if they don’t exist at times? What does it mean to exist? 15. What role does food play in Lena and Oscar’s relationship? 16. Compare the narration told through Freddy’s play to the standard form of narration. What do you get from a play that you don’t from narration and vice versa? 17. Pick a passage from the novel that stood out to you. Share why you chose your passage! 18. Reread the last chapter. Why do you think Novey decided to end the novel here, with Lena and Cristina? What did you think of this ending image, of Cosmo and Edgar emerging back into sight? 19. How would the ending of the novel have been different if Novey stopped at “over the land” (pg. 248), and didn’t include that last bit: “of the island where they were born” (pg. 248)? What is the significance of that final phrase? 20. How did Those Who Knew change, confirm, or challenge your perspective, beliefs, and opinions?


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sports

Unique and Unusual Sports for Kids Classes in axe throwing, ninja skills, parkour, kayaking, and skateboarding are on many wish lists these days. Here are a few spots where kids can explore these unconventional activities By Mia SalaS

W

e all know about the classic sports: soccer, football, dance, lacrosse — the list goes on and on. But these days, there are plenty of ways for kids to stay active and have fun in a safe environment. In characteristic, NYC fashion, sports have branched out from the familiar ones that we know and love, growing and expanding to include new, exciting options for little ones to teenagers. Our unique and unusual sport highlights are: Axe-throwing and Ninja Skills, Parkour, Skateboarding, and Kayaking! Just because your kids don’t love soccer or basketball, does not mean that sports aren’t for them. With a wide range of sport options that each engage a different part of the mind and body, kids have plenty of opportunities to explore and find a sport that they are passionate about. Not only do sports keep kids active and in motion, but sports teach kids about respect, teamwork, and motivation, while instilling confidence in the feeling of accomplishment. Discover your sport today!

Manhattan Axe-Throwing & Ninja Skills 92nd Street Y 1395 Lexington Ave. 212-415-5500, 92y.org

Kids can work on agility and teamwork skills in Ninja Kids courses, where they’ll use gymnastics equipment and the Ninja Warrior curriculum. Three different Ninja Kids courses are offered based on age, ranging from 4 to 7-year-olds. Here, kids ages 5 to 16 will have three hours of fun going through Ninja Warrior obstacle courses and learn parkour from USA Gymnastics-certified staff. If your child likes parkour, they can also take the Parkour & Ninja course, where certified instructors will teach them how to move quickly through equipment. No experience is necessary, and kids ages 5 to 14 are welcome to join. Parkour Chelsea Piers Field house 62 Chelsea Piers 212-336-6500, chelseapiers.com

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New York Family | August 2019

new York City Skateparks

Hudson river park’s pier 62 skatepark is free to all. Chelsea Piers is the ultimate parkour experience! They offer teen parkour for ages 12 to 16. Kids learn guidance in parkour movements, including running, jumping, climbing and other acrobatic movements. Instructors use spring floors and foam safety pits to create unique challenges throughout the gymnastics facility. Skateboarding hudson River Park’s Pier 62 Skatepark 143 11th Ave. 212-242-6427, hudsonriverpark.org

Strap on a helmet at all times. Hudson River Park’s Pier 62 Skatepark is free and open to all skateboarders and rollerbladers. With a 15,000 sq. ft. skatepark built on top of a pilesupported marine platform, using structural foam to create the shapes and forms that are typically sculpted in the earth. This is a space for your kids to skate to their heart’s content! Kayaking Downtown Boathouse, hudson River Park Pier 26 Pier 26 Hudson River Greenway Pier 101 Governors Island downtownboathouse.org

The Downtown Boathouse offers free kayaking throughout the summer at Pier 26 in Hudson

River Park and Pier 101 on Governors Island. Boats can be borrowed for 20-minute intervals and used again if others aren’t waiting. Free, public kayaking runs May 18 through October 14, 2019 on weekends and holidays at Pier 26, 9 am to 4:30 pm. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings run June 18 through September 12, 2019, 5:30 to 7 pm. Kayaking takes place on Saturdays, June 15 through September 14 at Pier 101, 11 am-4 pm.

BRooklYn Axe-Throwing & Ninja Skills kick axe throwing 622 Degraw St. 833-542-5293, kickaxe.com

Even your younger children can take part in the fun at Kick Axe Throwing. Kids (and adults!) ages 8 and up are welcome to join in as long as they have the necessary coordination to throw. If they’re not up to wielding real hatchets yet, there are also foam axes for the kids to throw. “Axe-tructors” are on-site during each session to teach your students to throw. When you’re done, Kick Axe even has plaid shirts, fake beards and tattoo sleeves if you want to take a themed family photo! All throwers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Classes run for 75 mins and cost $35 per person.


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August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers teaches parkour skills to kids 12 to 16. Parkour Brooklyn Zoo 230 Bogart St. 347- 987-3228, brooklynzoony.com

The Brooklyn Zoo provides parkour classes for kids as young as 5 years old. King of the Jungle classes are for kids ages 5 to 14, broken down into age categories. These classes incorporate the various art forms offered at the Brooklyn Zoo. Students will train in trampolining, tumbling, parkour, and other disciplines. There are also Parkour Advanced classes for kids who have a bit more experience with the sport. Skateboarding Cooper Skate Park Cooper Park Sharon Street & Olive Street 212-639-9675, nycgovparks.org

Reportedly named after Peter Cooper, the American philanthropist and inventor of a forerunner of Jell-O, Cooper Skate Park is nestled in East Wiliamsburg and has the perfect arena to skate, complete with lots of ramps! It is one of the city’s newest skateparks and lies out in East Williamsburg, where Brooklyn skateboarding is done right. Kayaking Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse 10 Montague St. bbpboathouse.org

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse is conveniently situated in the newly developed, and strikingly beautiful, Brooklyn Bridge Park. On Thursdays 5:30-6:45 pm, Saturdays 10 am-2 pm, and Sundays 10 am-2 pm, the folks at BBPB offer free, 20-minute kayaking

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New York Family | August 2019

sessions in the semi-protected waters along the Brooklyn Waterfront. Children under 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult in the kayak.

QueenS Axe-Throwing and Ninja Skills Axes and Arrows at Indoor extreme Sports LIC 47-11 Van Dam St. 718-361-9152, axesandarrows.com

At Axes and Arrows, throwers will have 15 minutes of learning the rules and basics before trying it for themselves. The remaining hour of the session will be divided into multiple games. The cost is $25 per person for a session, lasting 1 hour and 15 minutes. Kids ages 12 and up are welcome to throw with an adult present. Skateboarding Maloof Skate Park Astral Fountain Flushing Meadows Corona Park 718-760-6565, nycgovparks.org

This skate plaza was built for the Maloof Money Cup skateboarding competition in 2010 and has remained a free city skate park since. Constructed with variation in mind, this park is a 16,000-sq. ft. concrete public complex with multiple stairs, rails of varying lengths, and banks.

Cove Beach (31-01 Vernon Blvd, Astoria) and Anable Basin (LICCB Boat Launch at Anable Basin, Long Island City). Sessions last 20 minutes with the option to extend if there are no additional people waiting for a boat. Paddling at Hallett’s Cove Beach runs 1-4 pm and paddling at Anable Basin runs 12-4 pm.

Bronx Parkour Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure 2300 Southern Blvd. 718-220-5100, bronxzoo.com

While not your typical idea of parkour, the Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure is an exciting obstacle course for kids to climb, crawl, and swing through the ropes course or zipline over the Bronx River. The course is designed for children ages 7 and up. Your middle schoolers and teenagers will get a kick out of the parkour-like experience at the Bronx Zoo. Skateboarding river Avenue Skate Park River Avenue Parks, 100 E 157th St. nycgovparks.org

LIC Community Boathouse 46-01 5th St. 631-542-2628, licboathouse.org

Head to the Bronx and shred up the skate park at River Avenue. Designed closely with the skateboard community, this 10,000 sq. ft. concrete skate park features stairs, rails, ledges, benches, banks, gaps, and transitioned elements in a plaza setting. River Avenue is one of the city’s first skate parks to use traditional New York City Parks’ materials and references elements from the city’s past and present.

The LIC Community Boathouse offers free, walk-up kayaking on select Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season at Hallett’s

Additional reporting by Sarah Jackson and Michael Davis

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mom hacks

10 Backpacks for Back to School Our top picks for your little ones are not only stylish, but comfortable, safe, and accessible By Mia SalaS

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1. State Mini Kane Backpack, Jungle Cats The Mini Kane Stae Backpack in Jungle Cats print lights up any room with its pop of rainbow colors and beautiful design. The Mini Kane is the perfect size for kids with its padded and adjustable straps. $65, statebags.com

2. Parkland Rodeo

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The Rodeo is great if your little one needs the perfect lunch kit to go along with their back-toschool backpack. In addition, the insulated interior makes cleaning easy, and the front pocket makes snacks readily accessible. $24.99, parklandmfg.com

3. “Owl� Pack Backpack

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This multi-compartment, padded, and water-resistant backpack deviates in shape from the classic, rounded backpack, because the patented horizontal design carries weight at waist level, making the backpack super comfortable and safe for kids. $29.99, bixbee.com

4. Pottery Barn Teen Gold Marble Metallic Backpack This water-resistant backpack has reinforced stitching, and durable zippers, which helps as the bags are carried throughout the day. With plenty of room for all their books, there is also an interior padded laptop sleeve. $89.50$99.50, pbteen.com

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5. Skip Hop Zoo - Llama Backpack

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New York Family | August 2019

This llama designed backpack is colorful and cute, with a spacious exterior compartment for holding a pencil case, and the adjustable shoulder straps allow you to find the perfect size. $20, skiphop.com


August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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mom hacks

6. Parkland Franco Made of ultra lightweight material with padded straps, the Parkland Franco backpack will be light on your kids’ shoulders, even with all of the school binders and books! This backpack repurposes nine plastic water bottles and features the Nebula Electric print, fulfilling Parkland’s dedication to style and sustainability. $29.99, parklandmfg.com

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7. Cat & Jack Toddler Boys’ 3D Shark Backpack Target’s Toddler Boys’ 3D Shark Backpack, by Cat & Jack, has a decorative shark design. There are also bright yellow, adjustable straps, two compartments, and it’s reasonably priced. Parents love the practicality, and kids feel confident with their shark-style backpack! $12.99, target.com

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8. Skip Hop Zoo - Bat Backpack The friendly face of this bat with 3D wings and moon decor for zippers is tailored to young kids. Skip Hop designed the world’s first diaper bag that converts to a stroller bag, which highlights their commitment to innovation and practicality, seen in their backpacks. $20, skiphop.com

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9. Fenrici Preschool/Kindergarten Green Dinosaur Backpack The Fenrici Preschool/Kindergarten Green Dinosaur Backpack is made of both durable and waterproof 900-denier polyester with built-in, soft cushioning. The colorful, dinosaur design is a favorite for little ones, and the mesh side pockets with two, zipped compartments provide plenty of space for school supplies. $45 original, $22.99 sale, fenrici.com

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10. Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Rainbow Cloud Backpack

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New York Family | August 2019

This unique print will stand out in the sea of superheroes and villains. There is plenty of room for all the books they will be carrying, as well as room for the laptop and a port for headphones. Moms will love the bungee cord at the front of the bag that holds a coat, meaning fewer trips to the lost and found! $59.50-$79.50, pbteen.com


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Family day out

Taiyaki NYC

taiyaki’s fish-shaped ice cream cones are super-instagrammable

The Best Ice Cream Shops in NYC Get the latest scoop on which ice cream shops to check out this summer! By Jana Beauchamp

A

t New York Family we always pride ourselves on having the inside scoop, and if there’s one kind of scoop we’re kind of experts on, it’s ice cream scoops! We’re rounding up the best of the best ice cream shops in NYC that will be sure to please kiddos and adults alike. Plus we’re dishing on the must-order items on their menus for Summer 2019! Dominique Ansel 189 Spring St. 137 Seventh Ave.

Dominique Ansel always shakes up the pastry world with innovation and creativity like the legendary cronut. This summer Dominique Ansel has some really fun soft serve at Dominique Ansel Kitchen where they

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New York Family | August 2019

open up their soft serve ice cream window (located at the Dutch door on the side of their shop) and serve made-from-scratch ice creams. Summer Sensation: A favorite that they’ll have all summer long is their What-aMelon Soft Serve, made with a slice of juicy ripe watermelon (complete with tiny dark chocolate “seeds”), filled to order with our homemade watermelon soft serve. They’re also transforming the entire pastry case into a dessert tribute to NYC! The New York Collection features nine brand new pastries inspired by all the things we love about NYC. Think: a Bodega Coffee Tiramisu (a nod to those iconic blue coffee cups), an “Everything Bagel & Schmear” Pavlova, a New York Slice that’s actually a strawberry tart, a Haute Dog made of raspberry cremeux and lady’s fingers “buns,” a Pretzel cake inspired by street cart

soft pretzels, and more. Ample Hills Creamery 600 11th Ave. 73 Gansevoort St. 141 8th Ave. Brooklyn locations: Pier 5 421 Van Brunt St. 305 Nevins St. 445 Albee Square West 623 Vanderbilt Ave. Queens location: 16702 Rockaway Beach Ave. 157 Rockaway Beach Blvd. 34-02 30th Ave.

Ample Hills Creamery is the beloved Brooklyn-based, family-owned ice cream company always scooping cult-favorite flavors in their creative and playful style, like


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family day out

Salted Crack Caramel, Ooey Gooey, and The Munchies. We adore that Ample Hills bakes their own magnificent mix-ins and each location has a signature flavor. Summer Sensation: Their Big Summer Collaboration launches July 1st and is a one of a kind ice cream collection. There’s a Black Tap Collaboration with a custom ice cream flavor that will turn into a Crazy Shake at Black Tap locations and a Crazy Sundae at Ample Hills locations. Also plan to take the Tour de Hills, a Summer challenge to embark on a journey to 10 out of the 14 ice cream scoop shops to become a Hillionaire and earn sweet prizes! Melt Bakery 132 Orchard St. Brooklyn location: 111 Front St.

Melt Bakery knows how to rock your taste buds with their delectable homemade ice cream cookie sandwiches with the best seasonal ingredients and flavor combinations. From the first bite into a decadent cookie to the cool ice cream inside (courtesy of seasoned pastry chef Julian Plyter), you will literally melt with happiness. We are in love with the Lovelet (it tastes like a yummy cupcake), and the Classic (Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies + Vanilla Ice Cream). Summer Sensation: New this season is The Evil Twin, featuring chocolate chip cookies and chocolate ice cream! It is the perfect combination! Plus, Melt is everywhere you are this summer from The Spur to Citifield for baseball games. Taiyaki 119 Baxter St. Brooklyn location: 294 Bedford Ave. Queen location: 136-17 39th Ave.

Taiyaki in NYC is synonymous with their super-instagrammable fish-shaped ice cream cones. This signature ice cream creation has a Taiyaki (fish shaped pastry at festivals and weddings representing wealth and happiness) waffle cone filled with matcha and black sesame ice cream, a wafer stick, mini mochi rice cakes, and red bean paste or custard fillings. Summer Sensation: The kid-friendly summer favorite is the Unicorn Taiyaki ice cream. The most popular flavors of the ice cream are the classic vanilla and matcha ice cream. We love the unique and bold flavor

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New York Family | August 2019

OddFellows makes both classic and quirky flavors in their Brooklyn kitchen. combinations but kids will swoon over the unicorn presentation. Max & Mina’s Ice Cream Queens location: 7126 Main St.

Max & Mina’s Ice Cream is always creating new, cutting-edge flavors and combinations with seasonal fruits and ingredients and our favorite cereals! Favorite flavors include Cookie Monster, Captain Crunch, Cookies and Cream, and their best-selling, Fruity Pebbles. For strawberry season there’s a sensational Strawberry Fruity Pebbles. There are also rotating daily specials like lemon lime pie. Summer Sensation: As we write, they just made a batch of Aloha Coconut Praline, a coconut based flavor with praline, caramel, and coconut flakes. There is also a five blend cereal flavor in honor of getting out of school for summer. Eddie’s Sweet Shop Queens location: 105-29 Metropolitan Ave.

Eddie’s Sweet Shop is a NYC institution, having been in the family for five generations. It’s like walking into the past when you go in the shop and it’s surreal to see how all traditions and tastes have been passed down over time (like the amazing hot fudge made in copper kettle!). We love all the old school ice cream dishes. The most popular for kids are the classic chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry with mint chocolate chip and coffee coming in close after. Summer Sensation: Don’t miss the blueberry and peaches ice cream, two of their spectacular summer flavors.

OddFellows 75 East 4th St. 55 East Houston St. Brooklyn location: 175 Kent Ave. 60 Water St.

OddFellows creates their delectable ice cream right in their Brooklyn kitchen. Everyone loves both their classic and unconventional flavors. We learned that the biggest kid favorite flavors are Sprinkles, Strawberry Jam, and Pink Lemonade sorbet. They are all on rotation for the summer. Summer Sensation: OddFellows will be the first ice cream shop with a summer happy hour in their Dumbo location! Kids can get scoops, adults can get scoops and a glass of wine or craft beer. Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy the scoops, sips, and views. Sugar Hill Creamery 184 Lenox Ave.

Sugar Hill Creamery is devoted to local collaborations and the best ingredients, serving handmade, small batch ice cream and non-dairy frozen desserts. Many of the available flavors are inspired by their Caribbean and Midwestern cultures, as well as Harlem, their neighborhood of close to 15 years. The summer scoops that are especially popular with the kiddos include Andy Griffith (Vanilla), Unfinished Business (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Strawberry Basil with Lemon Curd and Shortbread, and Gone til November (Soursop)* (non-dairy). We love that they host a New Mom’s Group for Moms and babies to come together for a relaxed conversation about the ups and down of parenting. Summer Sensation: They are hosting


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family day out

Doggy Socials in collaboration with The Bark Shoppe, a Harlem-based pet care facility, where dogs can enjoy $3 pup scoops while their humans chat. This event is also great for kids who love dogs. Kids can also visit the shop with their summer camps for a 45-minute demonstration/activity on ice cream making. The Sugar Factory 835 Washington St. 700 8th Ave. 1991 Broadway

The Sugar Factory has the most epic ice cream creations for special celebrations, birthdays, and any regular day when you want to scream for ice cream. They have traditional sundaes, insane shakes, and larger than life sundaes. They really do make the world a sweet place. Summer Sensation: Don’t miss the World Famous Sugar Factory King Kong Sundae for any group gathering. It has 24 Scoops of Ice Cream covered with Hot Fudge, Caramel and Strawberry Sauce, Sliced Bananas, Toasted Marshmallows, Reese’s® Pieces, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Crushed Waffle Cones, Gummi Bears, White Chocolate Strawberry Shavings and Toasted Walnuts with Whipped Cream, Giant Lollipops and Sparklers on top! It’s the ultimate sweet, summer splurge!

Matt Harbicht, The Food Network

The Sugar Factory’s enormous King Kong Sundae is a maximalist group splurge. Eggloo 60 Mulberry St.

Eggloo desserts combine eclectic Asian Fusion flavors with quality ingredients to bring you something that may taste new but nostalgic, foreign but native, and that are Instagram-worthy. The hugely popular Eggloo Roses and Cones come in regular and vegan options and both pretty and special in its own! Summer Sensation: Eggloo will have a special limited Ice Cream Float collaboration with Brooklyn Crafted in late July/early August!

Sweet Moment 106 Mott St.

Sweet Moment is known for their mountain high Bingsoos (Shaved Ice) with many different flavors, cute and tasty Bottle Cakes, in-house made Pastries and Cookies made by their own pâtissier. Everyone is sure to have a sweet moment or two! Summer Sensation: Try the new Matcha & Strawberry Bingsoo! La Newyorkina 240 Sullivan St.

La Newyorkina is a Mexican sweets company specializing in all natural, handmade paletas, ice cream, baked goods, and confections. We love that it is a woman owned business and all the fantastic flavors in every bite. There are always fresh and seasonal flavors based on what’s at the market but the tres leches is an absolute must and summer essential! Summer Sensation: Get excited for their cherries and cream flavor starting soon as well as roasted strawberry ice cream.

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New York Family | August 2019

The Original Lower East Side Ice Cream Factory 88 Essex St.

The Original Lower East Side Ice Cream Factory comes from the family who brings you The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory & The Original Flushing Ice Cream Factory and are now serving us at the new Essex Street Market. Summer Sensation: Kid-friendly favorites for summertime are taro, pandan, green tea oreo, and anything with rainbow mochi toppings. Alphabet Scoop 543 East 11th St.

For those always looking to make a difference and influence change in a positive way, there is no better excuse than to indulge at Alphabet Scoop. This artisanal ice cream shop gives teenagers classroom instruction and mentoring partnerships all while training and employing them with real job and life skills in what we all scream for…ice cream!

And if this alone isn’t enough to win you over, the premium, homemade ice cream served by these youth will be your bonus payment. Summer Sensation: They have all the new seasonal flavors in stock and you’re doing good while eating ice cream at every visit! Ice & Vice 221 E. Broadway Times Square, 43rd St. Brooklyn location: 55 Water St. Queens location: 27-20 Jackson Ave

Ice & Vice is an experimental ice cream shop, handcrafting ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt in small, customized batches. It’s always edgy and always ultra-premium, and they serve up quality and vice with every scoop. Ice & Vice has a direct relationship with its local dairy farm, and all dairy is delivered direct to the kitchen. All of our products are infused, assembled, churned, and deep frozen in our production kitchen, which is a licensed dairy plant. Summer Sensation: All shops now have summer hours with the sweet summer seasonals. Check out the same same old same same old seasonal favorites like Pokey (prickly pear, candied cactus meringue), Milk Money (toasted milk, sea salt chocolate ganache), and more! With these unique NYC ice cream scoop shops your family can cool off from the summer heat in the sweetest way! Jana Beauchamp is a Manhattan writer and mom of two.


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August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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Incredible LaTonya Brooklyn-based author and blogger LaTonya Yvette gives us her take on mothering, personal style, and how color for her is a whole experience. By Donna Ladd

L

aTonya Yvette is a woman of words; she is also a native Brooklynite. A mother of two beautiful humans, River age 8 and Oak 5many of us have followed LaTonya since the beginning of her inspirational namesake blog. And she’s here, the city we live in. She is getting her kids ready for school, writing about the missteps and successes that come with raising city kids, improving her home, working on her writing, connecting with people and her community, and sharing along the way. And we need this as busy city moms. We like this energy. We have our babies and seek out stories that help us to connect, to feel whole again. We search for other women’s stories and truths.

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New York Family | August 2019

And now LaTonya has written a book, Woman of Color. LaTonya’s book is about empowering yourself as a woman, motherhood, wellbeing, hair, and style. Stories from “Birthing a Body, Growing a Woman” to “Five Rules for Being Bold in Life” can be found in this relatable book that connects all women. The stories are part reflection and bio with woven stories of strong black women that empower all to feel they can get through anything. Our Editor, Donna Duarte-Ladd, caught up with LaTonya to talk about Woman of Color, turning 30 and raising kids in NYC. I identify so much with your stories you have told through Woman of Color: the conflicts you had with your name when you were younger and people thinking


Photo by Yumi Matsuo | Hair & Makeup by Buffy Hernandez Jumpsuit by Apiece Apart | Shoes by Loeffler Randall

August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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Photo by Yumi Matsuo | Hair & Makeup by Buffy Hernandez

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New York Family | August 2019


you are the nanny when you’re out with your kids. How do you try to nurture a healthy sense of self in your kids? I believe that moving through motherhood with an identity that does not conflict with my role as a mother is important. Part of it is, I think, being a young mother, and not having a sense of self that could be either discarded or hold fast with the birth of a child. I had to mold myself, my work, and my life as a mother, around and with my children. And to me, I never was comfortable with giving up my sense of self. Part of my mothering experience is teaching my kids, mostly by example, that self is essential. I believe in instilling a sense of autonomy in everyday ways. For example, I don’t make their beds. They sleep in their beds, and they can make them as best as they can. I believe by doing this, I am teaching them responsibility in regards to themselves and their immediate community. It’s layered, but also simple; when I take care of myself and take responsibility for myself, it shows them and teaches them, that this is what they have to do in this world. Right now, this is very important to me. I want them to have fun, be silly, be children, but as one of my good friends would say, “I am raising adults”.

Family Favorites

In your book, you share what color means to you as not only a black woman, but also in how you dress. Can you share with our readers more about what color means to you? For me, color is an entire experience. It isn’t just what I wear, it’s how I see the world. I am inherently attracted to color, people, colorful people. Dynamic characters. Spaces and events. This is a really important aspect of my work right now. Woman Of Color is an exploration (with kids in tow) of color: theirs, mine, what we wear, the world we live in, and all of my colorful (good, bad, and in between) experiences. Color isn’t just a style experience, and it’s why my book goes back and forth between style, spaces, and experiences. Color isn’t one-dimensional. It is really important for people to understand that, even when we are speaking about the Black experience, that we all have many unique stories.

Favorite place to grab a bite to eat with the kids?

You write about many transitions in parenting and relationships, do you have any advice to share on this topic? All I will ever say about marriage, parenting, single parenting, co-parenting, or whatever your situation, YOU HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING WITH LOVE. It seems hard. SO hard, but in the long run, anything you do out of love, feels SO MUCH BETTER. Whatever your situation is, or where you are, this is one of my biggest parenting tips.

Favorite family TV show/movie?

Your mother comes across as an incredibly strong woman in Woman of Color. She raised you as a single mother. How has she, as a single parent, influenced

Dino at 222 Dekalb Ave. in Brooklyn. But also any German beer garden, because they have fries. And when it comes to eating out with kids, as long as there are french fries, it feels like the best outing possible. Also, Speedy Romeo on Classon, because they know the kids and me and put a glass of rosé down when we sit down. It’s our local spot. And Habana Outpost on Fulton, because I’ve been going for years and as a Brooklynite, it sort of feels like mine, even though it isn’t!

Favorite park? Prospect Park for sure!

Favorite summer activity with the kids? Ferry rides! We’ve been taking them from one area of Brooklyn to the next, park-hopping and hair blowing since River, my youngest, was a newborn. The East River Ferry was opening, and I worked in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I’m super nostalgic for those days. Oof.

We cannot agree right now. Honestly. Oak (my 5-year-old) is obsessed with Home Alone (which he watched for the first time at Christmas), and I find it a bit fishy. And he also loves the Polar Express, but I am really against Christmas movies playing outside of Christmas time. River has no specifics. She’s almost 9 and mostly wants to be left alone. But with that said, we will watch oldschool Muppet movies together and Mary Poppins.

Favorite holiday destination? New York! You know, I think the magical thing about New York around the holiday season is that everyone leaves. Not New Yorkers (unless it’s Time Square or Rockefeller Center... don’t go there!).

August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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Latonya describes her book as “an exploration (with kids in tow) of color: theirs, mine, what we wear, the world we live in, and all of my colorful (good, bad, and in between) experiences.” Photo by Yumi Matsuo | Hair & Makeup by Buffy Hernandez

you as a parent? Thank you, she is! You know, my mother taught me that I was home wherever she was. Which is odd, and likely why I didn’t leave the country until I was in my late 20s. My family was so woven in and out of good and bad experiences — things we took on together in our early years as kids, in the end, turned out to be really formative. I don’t parent like my mother, yet I’ve taken so much of her strength and her willingness to not only survive, but to thrive. She also taught me, for better or for worse, that I can do it all. Yes, it will suck at times. Yes, I’ll likely feel too exhausted, and maybe when I’m in my 40s, I will regret the way I ran around Brooklyn, for my children. But when you see someone do it with five kids, it is hard not to adapt that to your own situation. I am not my mother, but the strength she gave me is still so much part of my everyday. She also taught me ways to make different decisions than her. When I’m down and think I can’t, I think that she did. You have great advice regarding personal style. Can you share with us any tips on us on some core pieces a mother should have in her wardrobe? You know, I think it’s essential that women just dress for their current bodies. I think we are always

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told to lose the baby weight, as if this day will turn up tomorrow. Therefore, many women do not end up getting dressed for who they are now. Have fun and make time for where you are now style-wise. I think as far as style, sizing, color, patterns, and prints, you can’t go wrong with a onesie or jumper. There are many options and different prices. If you have something that allows you to be comfortable, but also speaks to all of the above, you’re good as gold. Where do you shop for clothes? I am super privileged and get many things for free because of my work as a lifestyle blogger. But I usually lean towards female designers who are inclusive, colorful, and who themselves are stylish. These designers also have an attainable price point for readers and followers. With that said, I also like to shop at And Other Stories, and I’m a crazy vintage person. It makes me feel good to get a deal while getting pieces with a story, and that are a bit unique and that capture a moment in time while telling a story.

LaTonya’s book Woman of Color is available at amazon.com and you can get your daily dose of her lifestyle vibe at latonyayvette.com.


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Spotlight: education

School Admissions in New York Tips from local experts By Tammy Scileppi, Jean Sheff

“Y

ou’re accepted!” These are the sweet words that all city parents are eager to hear. Securing a seat for your child in the New York City school of your choice – public or private – can be a daunting process. With this in mind we asked local experts in the educational field for tips that can help you navigate the sometimes-stormy waters of the school admissions process. “Bringing up my daughter in Manhattan has been a great adventure,” says Dana Haddad, CEO, and founder New York Admissions, LLC, a school admissions consulting firm for families looking for schools in New York City, the tri-state area as well as worldwide. She says finding the right school for your child is one of the most important jobs that a parent has. “While selecting a school for my daughter, I had to think about who she is as a learner and what environment she would best excel in. It was not about me, but all about her!” Important things to know Educational consultant Roxana Reid, M.S.W., the founder and director of Smart City Kids, Inc. an educational consulting firm that helps families in New York City identify public and private school options for their children, advises parents to be always be an active listener. “Recognize that schools evolve and change over the years so if you have a friend or colleague who attended decades ago, they may not have up-to-date insights on the program,” she says. Retaining all the information you are going to uncover is important. Reid says, “It helps to stay very organized by tracking appointments, impressions and interactions in a spreadsheet.” Haddad advises parents to keep the focus on your child. “Know your child. Know their strengths and weaknesses and the type of environment that they will thrive in.” Yet, you can also consider the bigger picture, “Not every school is the same. Know the type of community that your family will be comfortable in,” she says. Public vs private Many parents struggle when deciding whether to choose a public or private school

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New York Family | August 2019

for their child. “Trust your gut and think about what environment aligns with your child’s profile and your family’s values,” advises Reid. “It is about understanding your options and your child’s educational profile.” Asking others for help with the decision process can be critical. “Seek guidance and feedback from their preschool director and lead teacher, as they know your child in a school environment and will be able to offer meaningful insights into who they are as a learner.” Specialized high schools If a public high school is a good fit for your child and family you may want to consider a specialized high school. “A specialized high school is a public school operated by the Department of Education that screens applicants via a test or audition/portfolio submission, the SHSAT,” explains Reid. In New York City there are many

specialized high schools, they are: • Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Arts and Performing Arts • The Bronx High School of Science • The Brooklyn Latin School • Brooklyn Technical High School • High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College of New York • High School of American Studies at Lehman College • Queens High School for the Sciences at York College • Staten Island Technical High School • Stuyvesant High School How admissions work If you’ve decided on an independent or private school it’s important to understand how the admissions process works. “The vast majority of independent schools are members of ISAAGNY (Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New


For boys and girls Nursery to Grade 8

Join our Autumn Open Houses Tuesday 8th October, 9:00am - 10:30am Thursday 24th October, 6:00pm - 7:30pm Wednesday 30th October, 9:00am - 10:30am * Please note that registration is required

For more information: info@wetherbypembridge.org | 646-213-3400 www.wetherby-pembridge.org | 7 East 96th Street, New York

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Bienvenidos



Bilingual. Multicultural. Diverse.



Helping students gain the skills, confidence and compassion to contribute and thrive anywhere in the world. Chinese and Spanish tracks for Pre-Nursery (2’s) – Grade 8. Currently accepting applications through Grade 5 and adding a grade each year through Grade 8.

COME TO AN OPEN HOUSE: Thursday, September 19th at 9:00am Wednesday, September 25th at 9:00am 4 East 90th Street / 212-641-0260

www.ianyc.org August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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Spotlight: education

York), which means they adhere to agreed upon timelines and principles of good practice,” says Reid. Here’s where you cuddle up to your laptop. “Look to each school’s website for a fuller understanding of their process,” she adds. “Typically it will involve a tour and parent interview and a child visit which consists of activities with a teacher either in a group or one-to-one.” The application and interview Once you’ve decided where to apply there are several things to keep in mind. “Make sure that the information that you provide is accurate,” advises Haddad. Inaccurate information will slow down the process and can be off-putting.

Academy of Thought and Industry Manhattan 1 Avenue B, New York, NY (East Village) 917-338-2820 thoughtandindustry.com manhattan@thoughtandindustry.com A new school for grades 7 through 12 is opening this fall in East Village. The Academy of Thought and Industry (ATI) in Manhattan joins a network of high schools with campuses in Austin, San Francisco, and St. Louis. ATI is an autonomous learning community that offers hands-on work, self-directed projects, and entrepreneurial endeavors among expert mentors and ambitious peers. This Manhattan campus is located near Tompkins Square Park and historic libraries. There is space for 35 students.

The Calhoun School 433 West End Ave., New York, NY (Main Building) 212-497-6500 160 W. 74th St., New York, NY (Lower School) 212-497-6550 calhoun.org Founded in 1896 on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, The Calhoun School is a progressive co-educational, independent, college preparatory day school that serves students from 2 years & 8 months through 12th grade. Calhoun inspires a passion for learning through a progressive approach to education that values intellectual pursuit, creativity, diversity and community involvement.

Dwight School Multiple locations in New York Preschool & K: 212-362-2350 Main Campus: 212-724-3630

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New York Family | August 2019

She also suggests that you, “Make sure that your essays are detailed, giving a clear picture of why your child is right for the school and why the school is right for your family.” Reid acknowledges that timing and accuracy are important. “Plan to submit applications well before the deadline; strive for authenticity when describing your child and family; be thoughtful and measured in your interactions with each school; and if you have a preschool director, confer with them on your list of programs and tap into their expertise to help you navigate the process.” Don’t let anxiety take over when it comes time for the interview. If you are relaxed you’ll serve as a role model for your

child as they may be feeling anxious as well. “Everyone should stay calm. Answer the questions openly and honestly, says Haddad. “Remember that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you, as it has to be the right fit for both sides.” Share this point of view with your child and they may feel less scrutinized. In the end it’s not all about ‘getting in’. Having the best interests of your child is paramount. “I have learned first-hand that children are who they are and should be celebrated,” says Haddad. She advises parents to stay centered during the admissions process and trust that you will find the right school. Haddad is encouraging; “There is a perfect fit for each child.”

dwight.edu Founded in 1872, Dwight School is an internationally renowned independent school (nursery to grade 12), committed to educating the next generation of innovative global leaders — one student at a time. Providing a personalized experience for each student through the academically rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, Dwight is dedicated to “igniting the spark of genius” in every child. Dwight School has been recognized by the IB organization as a world leader in international education.

ensure their children are positioned for admissions into top-tier private schools in Canada, China, the United States, and Dubai. They specialize in all admissionsrelated matters, from formal assessment and informal preparation, child literacy, and parent and student interview preparedness. They provide clarity, comprehensive guidance and tested strategic resources throughout each stage of the admissions process.

Gillen Brewer School 410 E. 92nd St., New York NY 212-831-3667 gillenbrewer.com Gillen Brewer provides a familyoriented, early childhood program for children ages 2.8 to 10 years old with language-based and non-verbal learning disabilities. Learning and growing in a secure and nurturing environment, their students develop the skills necessary to overcome challenges. They work closely with families to instill self-confidence and build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and independence.

Howell Academics 201-8041 Granville St., 2nd floor Vancouver, BC V6P 4Z5 Canada 778.628.0204 howellacademics.com marketing@howellacademics.com Headquartered in Vancouver BC, Canada, Howell Academics’ boutique private school consultants provide both virtual and in-house services, programs and guidance. They work with families to

Green Meadow Waldorf School 307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 845-356-2514, ext. 302 mmcdonagh@gmws.org Green Meadow Waldorf School graduates well-rounded, capable, compassionate people who make a difference in the world. Through their media policy, which limits screen time for younger children, to the unique, rigorous academic and arts-infused curriculum. Waldorf education develops 21st century capacities like curiosity and collaboration. Their alumni go on to top colleges and universities and are known for their critical thinking and initiative.

The IDEAL School of Manhattan 314 W. 91st St., New York, NY 212-769-1699 theidealschool.org NYC’s only independent K-12 inclusion school, their nurturing and robust program inspires a commitment to excellence and a growth-mindset in each student. The Lower School’s co-teaching model features a learning specialist and general educator in every classroom. In the Upper School, general educators, learning specialists and advisors partner


We Inspire Students

to Become the Heroes of Their Own Journeys Igniting the spark of genius in every child and educating global leaders since 1872 Nursery – Grade 12 Register online to attend an open house

admissions@dwight.edu | 212.724.6360 | dwight.edu New York | London | Seoul | Shanghai | Dubai | Online

“Technologists know how phones really work, and many have decided they don’t want their own children anywhere near them...A wariness that has been slowly brewing is turning into a regionwide consensus: The benefits of screens as a learning tool are overblown, and the risks for addiction and stunting development seem high.” –A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley, The New York Times, 10/26/18

Informed by research, Green Meadow Waldorf School’s media policy limits screen time for children under age 11 and supports mindful use in older students. Our cutting-edge educational methods are based on nearly 100 years of child observation. Our graduates leave our closeknit community to go on to top colleges and universities, where they are known for embodying 21st-century capacities including curiosity and collaboration.

© JOSEPH REGAN

Does your child’s school have a media policy?

Now busing from Manhattan and Riverdale!

gmws.org August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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Spotlight: education

to bring learning to life. Seminar-style classes foster empathy, critical-thinking, skills and global perspective, while arts and athletics develop creativity and collaboration. Students strive for excellence and encourage it in their peers.

International Academy of New York 4 E. 90th St., New York, NY 212-641-0260 ianyc.org admissions@ianyc.org The International Academy of New York offers an immersive bilingual education in either Spanish or Chinese, daily instruction in the arts, and academic study at the highest level. Class sizes allow children to receive personalized attention, nurturing their intellectual, physical, creative, social and emotional development. The faculty and student body are intentionally diverse, reflecting both NYC and the world. They’re currently accepting applications for children 2 years through grade 5 and they will add a grade each year until grade 8.

La Scuola d’Italia 12 E. 96th St., New York, NY 212-369-3290 lascuoladitalia.org admissions@lascuoladitalia.org A multicultural, multilingual school where students, pre-K through high school, pursue Italian and U.S. curricula simultaneously. Early childhood programs are child-centered and inquiry-based. The school is supported by a nurturing international community comprised not only of Italian families but of people from around the world who recognize the value of an internationallyminded and academically challenging education. Teachers are all native speakers and skilled in dual-language learning to produce better skills and higher emotional and problem-solving capacity.

The Leffell School Lower School White Plains, NY Upper School Hartsdale, NY 914-948-8333 admissions@leffellschool.org The Leffell School is a K-12, coeducational, Jewish independent school, set on two picturesque campuses in Westchester County. Their mission

is to prepare the next generation of leaders to live thoughtful, value-based Jewish lives in the ever-evolving modern world. Immersed in a community that cultivates a sense of confidence and belonging from kindergarten through 12th grade, their students experience a dynamic curriculum that equips them to excel in the nation’s top universities and beyond, along with outstanding programs in competitive athletics and the arts. Their families represent a wide, geographic area and are diverse in their Jewish affiliations and socioeconomic circumstances.

Nord Anglia International School of New York 44 E. 2nd St., New York, NY (East Village) 212-600-2010 nordangliaeducation.com This warm and friendly private school provides a learning experience for children ages 2 to 14 in an international setting. With an average class size of 12, world-class teachers who develop each student’s skills, and a curriculum developed to instill a love of learning, your child will be prepared for an exciting future. In their Global Campus, children are introduced to cultures from around the world. They’re the only private school in New York to offer the International Primary Curriculum.

Polis Montessori World School at Museum Mile 12 E. 79th St., New York, NY (at Museum Mile) 917-388-1710; manhattan@polis.school 775 Columbus Ave., New York, NY (at Columbus Circle) 917-388-1710; manhattan@polis.school polis.school Polis Montessori World School has two Manhattan campuses, located on either side of Central Park. The west side campus, called Columbus Square, offers toddler and primary programs (ages 2 to 6), and Museum Mile on the east side offers primary and elementary (ages 3 to 11). Each Polis classroom is a beautifully prepared Montessori environment, and Mandarin immersion is also available. Polis schools are intentionally located in cosmopolitan cities, where students take daily walks to parks and plan weekly visits to museums.

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New York Family | August 2019

Wetherby-Pembridge School 7 E. 96th St., New York, NY 646-213-3400 wetherbypembridge.org An independent school for boys and girls ages 3 to14 whose vision is to “awaken curiosity, cultivate high standards and celebrate successes.” They combine the merits of single-sex and co-education in a unique provision that is both familyfriendly and educationally sound. The curriculum is based on the rigorous English National Curriculum but is enriched by New York City’s educational practice and infused with their three school values: respect, responsibility and resilience. They are now accepting fall Open House registrations.

York Prep School 40 W. 68th St., New York, NY (Upper West Side) 212-362-0400 yorkprep.org yorkprepmail@yorkprep.org Founded by Ronald and Jayme Stewart in 1969, York Prep is an independent, college-preparatory day school for students in grades 6 through 12. Students here are instilled with unwavering integrity, a desire to learn in a rigorous academic environment, and enthusiastic participation in their community. Compassionate and skilled educators creatively address the individual needs and interest of the diverse student body. They create an individualized and challenging program of study within a traditional curriculum for each student.

Zeta Inwood 1 Elementary Charter School 652 W. 187th St., New York, NY 929-447-5282 zetaschools.org apply@zetaschools.org At Zeta, school is a place that nurtures mind, body, soul and connectedness, so children can achieve their greatest potential. Mindfulness and wellness permeate the school day. Rigorous hands-on academics with cutting-edge innovation and technology are at the heart of each of their schools. Healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks, innovative activities, field trips and after-school programming enrich the learning experience they provide. In the 2020-2021 school year Zeta Charter schools will serve students in kindergarten through third grade.

Follow us @newyorkfamily on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and tag us #newyorkfamily in your NYC adventures!


NEW NAME SAME HEART OPEN HOUSES Lower School (K-5)

Incredible things happen when children love to

Learn.

NOVEMBER 10, 2019 30 Dellwood Road White Plains, NY | 914.948.3111

Middle School (6-8) DECEMBER 8, 2019 555 W. Hartsdale Avenue Hartsdale, NY | 914.948.8333

High School (9-12) NOVEMBER 3, 2019 555 W. Hartsdale Avenue Hartsdale, NY | 914.948.8333

Solomon Schechter School of Westchester has become The Leffell School. While our name has changed, our heart has not. Our nurturing Jewish community offers an enriching academic environment, state-of-the-art engineering and entrepreneurship programs, athletics and arts activities, and outstanding college placement. A N I N D E P E N D E N T K-1 2 CO E D J E W I S H DAY S C H O O L

LeffellSchool.org

Join us for an open house this fall! Learn more: calhoun.org/visit

160 West 74th Street

Preschool – 12th Grade calhoun.org

APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR GRADES K -3 SEPTEMBER 2019

August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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Spotlight: education

5 Tips for Getting on the Preschool Track By Donna Ladd

A

s we start to wind down in August and a new school year is around the corner, you may be ready to start thinking of a preschool for your little one. After a summer of enjoying the parks and socializing with other children, it makes perfect sense to want to continue the momentum of your child reaching his/her milestones. Deciding on a preschool can feel a bit overwhelming. You want a perfect fit for your child, where they will be happy and thrive. Here are 5 tips to help you get on the preschool track! Location, location, location Where a preschool is located is usually a significant factor. Some parents prefer a school that is near home while others look for one near their work. If dropping off more then one child at different schools, which happens when there is a bit of an age gap, look for one that is easy to walk to or has a rather calm mass transportation route. What type of school are you looking for? Pick a school that is academically aligned on how you want your children to learn. If you need more in-depth answers on a school’s teaching philosophy — attending a school tour will help answer your questions. Timing is everything The hours of operation of a preschool usually factor pretty high in a parent’s list of school needs. Whether you need only half days, early drop-offs or late pick-ups, the school you choose should have a schedule that works for your family.

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Environment A school tour will help you in deciding if the climate of the school is a good fit for your child. There are no right or wrong answers. The school administrators are happy to open up the classrooms to you on tour and will introduce you to the teachers. You know what works for your child, so do not shy away from checking out the classrooms and school facility. The right fit You can visit every school in your city; however, what matters most is how your child will fit in the preschool. Will he/she be happy? Do you see the teachers pairing well with your child’s personality? Is the daycare able to fit the needs of your child regardless of how big these needs are? Preschool is a big step and exciting for the entire family. There is only pure joy on that first day of school even if there are tears involed. Savor it all for before you know it -it will be time for elementary school!

Preschools to check out! Green Meadow Waldorf School 307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 845-356-2514, ext. 302 mmcdonagh@gmws.org Green Meadow Waldorf School graduates well-rounded, capable, compassionate people who make a difference in the world. Through their media policy, which limits screen time for younger children, to the unique, rigorous academic and arts-infused curriculum, Waldorf education develops 21st century capacities like curiosity and collaboration. Their alumni go on to top colleges and universities and are known for their critical thinking and initiative.

Metrokids Preschool Multiple locations in Manhattan Check the website for a complete listing metrokidspreschool.com admin@metrokidspreschool.com These dynamic schools provide the highest quality preschool education with professional services for a warm,


The Montessori School of New York International Wisdom through Knowledge

Where Learning Comes To Life!

Nursery through Junior High (Ages 2 - 14) Summer Day Camp

● Montessori hands-on materials enhance cognitive, social & emotional development

● Excellent record for placement in G & T Programs/Specialized High Schools

● Yoga, Dance, Swimming, Cultural Experiences ● Extended Hours for working parents (8 am to 6 pm)

montessorinyc@aol.com www.montessorischoolny.com 347 East 55th Street • 212-223-4630

Non-profit educational, non-denominational & non-discriminatory

Founded in 1992, Gillen Brewer School is a familyoriented, 12-month early childhood program for children ages 2.8 to 10 years old with language-based and non-verbal learning disabilities. We instill self-confidence and build strong foundations for lifelong learning and independence. Students learn and grow in a secure and nurturing environment and develop skills to overcome challenges through: • Developmentally Appropriate Academic Instruction • Speech and Language Therapy • Occupational Therapy • Counseling and Social Groups

Uncover the Specialness in Your Child™ Contact: Julian Parham Santana, Director of Admissions julian@gillenbrewer.com • 212-831-3667

410 East 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128 www.gillenbrewer.com

Instagram: @gillenbrewer

August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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Spotlight: education

nurturing and responsive environment. There is a deep focus on early literacy as well as promoting an understanding of science technology, engineering and mathematics for their students. Strategybased learning, scientific method, STEM, advanced language development, and student-inspired thematic learning guide in their impressive curriculum.

The Montessori School of New York International 347 E. 55th St., New York, NY (Sutton Place) 212-223-4630 montessorischoolny.com At Montessori International, children are encouraged to explore all academic dimensions, helping them become well-rounded, confident citizens of the world. Classes are equipped with a full complement of didactic imported Montessori materials that encourage the absorption of concepts while playing. Science, music, foreign language, musical theatre, swimming, dance, yoga and chess are part of the program as well. Summer Camp, staffed by the year round teachers, allows children from other programs to experience a Montessori summer.

NY Preschool Multiple Locations throughout Manhattan nypre.com The NY Preschool classroom, a warm and welcoming home base for learning through stories, songs and art, is paired with a state-of-the-art gymnastics facility. Their unique learning environment sparks physical growth and discovery while the creative curriculum, which combines the traditional and the progressive, supports each student’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth.

Polis Montessori World School at Museum Mile 12 E. 79th St., New York, NY (at Museum Mile) 917-388-1710; manhattan@polis.school 775 Columbus Ave., New York, NY (at Columbus Circle) 917-388-1710; manhattan@polis.school polis.school Polis Montessori World School has two Manhattan campuses, located on either side of Central Park. The west side campus, called Columbus Square, offers toddler and primary programs (ages 2 to 6), and Museum Mile on the east side

offers primary and elementary (ages 3 to 11). Each Polis classroom is a beautifully prepared Montessori environment, and Mandarin immersion is also available. Polis schools are intentionally located in cosmopolitan cities, where students take daily walks to parks and plan weekly visits to museums.

Pusteblume International Preschool 244 W. 14th St., New York, NY (Chelsea) 212-206-1137 pusteblumenyc.org admissions@pusteblumenyc.org Pusteblume offers German or Spanish immersion programs for 2 to 5 yearolds and afterschool activities for children up to 12 years of age. Licensed, native-speaking faculty teaches music, movement, literacy and visual arts in a fun learning environment. They combine the best of international and American teaching methods in a nurturing setting that cultivates the growth and development of your child. This multilingual, multicultural environment prepares your child to participate and succeed in the international world.

est. 1986

Enrich your child's day with music, art, gym & play! Classes for babies, toddlers & 2's 424 West End Ave. @ 81st 212.877.7614 poppyseedprenursery.com 50

New York Family | August 2019

I N T E R NAT I O NAL P R E S C H O O L

German & Spanish language immersion

Preschool • After School • Camps Ages 2–12 A nurturing setting that cultivates the growth and development of your child 212-206-1137 • info@pusteblumenyc.org www.pusteblumenyc.org


A Multilingual and Multicultural School for Future Global Leaders PreK – 12th Grade Co-Ed

Chinese for Children 2019 Fall Registration is now open! Fall 2019 Classes begin the week of September 16. We are accepting new and returning students ages 2-17 for the Fall semester at all proficiency levels! Early bird: Sign up before August 20 to get the $50 registration fee waived.

Our Mandarin Immersion Preschool opens Fall 2020!

Private Mandarin language tutoring for kids and adults is also available!

www.chinainstitute.org

• An outstanding, diverse and creative learning community • Focus on excellence in Science, the Arts, and Innovation • American and international students all language levels

• Small classes with native-speaking highly qualified teachers • Attention to cognitive & verbal skills • Focus on higher emotional & problemsolving learning

Open House: October 5th 9:00-11:30am, November 14th 5:00-6:30pm, February 29th 9:00-11:30 am Private tours available by appoinment: admissions@lascuoladitalia.org Preschool & Elementary Middle & High School 12 East 96th Street 406 East 67th Street Tel. 212.369.3290 Tel. 212.452.4813

August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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Things to Do in NYC this Summer with Kids

New York has just what you need to have a fun summer. Check out these kid-friendly activities before school starts up again! By Danielle Sullivan

S

ummer is life, and we want to make those sweet moments with our kiddos count (as well as filling those looooong ten weeks!). Living in NYC makes that easy. Whether you will be taking a vacation or staying in the city, there are countless opportunities for summer fun. Check out 50 things to do with your kids this summer right in our own backyard!

1. Zip line the day away at the Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure Climb & Zipline. Climb through obstacle courses and zip line over a river!

6. Make and fly a kite, code an app, and learn about slime at STEM Kids NYC on Governor’s Island in ongoing weekend sessions. 7. Cool off at the American Museum of Natural History

and catch one last viewing of Unseen Oceans. This exhibit shows you the secret world of the ocean and its mysterious animals that inhabit it, and it closes August 18th. 8. Walk, explore, and learn about the natural world in the drop-off program, Science in the Woods at Alley Pond Park. Or walk through Little Bay Park and search for small animal life using nets in Science in the Bay.

2. Grab your roller skates (or rent a pair) and head

down to Pier 2 Roller Rink at Brooklyn Bridge Park for daily roller skating, lively music, and special events throughout the summer.

9. Pack a blanket and treat your kids to a movie under the city stars at various NYC parks. Popular screenings include Bohemian Rhapsody at Bushwick Inlet Park and Aquaman at Willowbrook Park in Staten Island.

3. Take a break from the scorching summer heat by

cooling off at the newly renovated Chelsea Waterside Play Area, which features a one-of-a-kind, Robinia wood pipefish and limestone cattle head sculptures alongside the sprinklers.

10. No experience necessary to plan an adventure in the NYC waters and do some kayaking and canoeing for free at the LIC Community Boathouse. 11. Discover your Chinese Zodiac sign and make a puppet

4. No summer is complete without a visit (or 10) to

Coney Island! Enjoy the beach and the rides in Luna Park, walk along the 1,000-foot long Steeplechase Park Pier and get amazing views of the ocean.

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in Zodiac Shadow Puppets at Socrates Sculpture Park.

5. Bring your music lover to enjoy an outdoor

12. Hop on one of 14 animals at the Bryant Park Carousel and enjoy some French Cabaret tunes while riding around under a beautiful leafy awning of London Place trees.

concert at Central Park Summerstage or Prospect Park Bandshell, including The National,Father John Misty,the Met Opera Recital Series, and the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival.

13. Learn about science and do some bird watching at Central Park’s Belvedere Castle. Discovery kits, telescopes, and microscopes are on hand to deepen

New York Family | August 2019


the experience.

features 88 water jets with plenty of room for kids of all ages to splash and play in the fountain area.

14. Take in a gorgeous view on the East River while

settling down for a picnic in Astoria Park. Have supper on a blanket in the grass or take in a bench view and then let the kids frolic in Charybdis Playground, or take a stroll to the nearby skate park.

16. Go horseback riding with Kensington Stables right

15. Head over to Domino Park in Williamsburg and

17. Enjoy 18 holes of mini-golf at Flushing Meadows

play in the water fountain and steps. This fountain

alongside some spectacular landscaping, including

in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park along a 3.5-mile path and see all the sights of the park. Pony rides available outside the barns for the younger crowd.

Big Bounce America, the largest bounce house in the world, comes to Brooklyn’s Aviator Sports and Events Center this month.

August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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trail, visit the aviary to see exotic birds, and witness the sea lion pool up close and personal. 23. Cool down from the sweltering heat with water inflatables, bounce houses, face painting, snacks and lots of fun water play at the Water Festival at Seaside Playground in Far Rockaway. 24. Get captivated by Shakespeare in the Park in the 1,800

seat Delacorte Theater and check out the Disney songs and Broadway shows for kids on Labor Day weekend. 25. Board the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum on

one designated night each month on free Fridays and check out performances, film screenings, exhibits, and take a stroll along the flight deck. 26. Take a dip in any (or all!) of the NYC pools in every

borough. It’s always free! 27. Bring the family (and your sleeping bags!) outside

for the night and sleep under the stars at Free Family Camping with the Urban Park Rangers. 28. Climb your way to the top … of the Observatory

Deck at the Empire State Building and see the city from a whole new view! 29. Build a spaceship and launch in to space in “3-2-1

Blast Off!” at the Lego Store at Rockefeller Center throughout June.

Central Park’s Belvedere Castle, a great spot for birdwatching, has recently reopened after a major face lift.

streams and waterfalls. As an added bonus, the course is fully lit for night play. 18. Bounce up and down in the largest bounce house in the world (we’re not kidding —it holds the Guinness World Record!) when it comes to Aviator Sports in July. The 20,000 square foot trampoline park also has an obstacle course, basketball courts, and a huge ball pit.

30. Take in a good old-fashioned baseball game and watch the Brooklyn Cyclones play under the lights of Steeplechase Park at MCU Park. 31. Check out lion dance performances, Chinese crafts

and children’s activities at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. 32. Watch the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating

19. Young chefs or food aficionados can relish in

Smorgasburg, where a plethora of tasty treats from 100 restaurants are served up every Saturday in East River State Park in Williamsburg and Sunday in Prospect Park. Smaller versions can be found at World Trade Center on Fridays and Hudson Yards on Tues-Wed. 20. Glide down New York City’s longest slide at Slide Hill at Governor’s Island. One of the four slides measures 57-feet and is a winding path of squealing fun and amazing views. 21. Spend a day a Victorian Gardens amusement park and enjoy bumper cars, magic shows, a mini roller coaster, slide and more right in Central Park.

Contest and spend the Fourth of July day at the beach. 33. Bike, roller blade or just stroll down the Summer Streets when 7 miles of city streets are closed to cars for three Saturdays in August and catch musical performances, a water slide, and a climbing wall along the way. 34. Visit the Jim Henson Exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image and see how Henson created his treasured characters up close and personal, and get a peek at some favorite puppets! 35. Celebrate Harlem Week with a film screening, dance party, an auto show and many other festivities, including a 5K run.

22. Delight in a bevy of animals and attractions at the

Queens Zoo! Check out bison and deer on the animal

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New York Family | August 2019

36. Build a big sandcastle, climb ropes, or splash in a


wading pool at Imagination Playground at the South Street Seaport.

44. Be part of the International Coastal Cleanup in the Rockaways and help reduce trash along the city shores.

37. Enjoy an art farm, chess, bubble garden, yoga story time, and musical performances at Citi Summer in the Square.

45. Invent your own plant and enjoy hands-on science

38. Take an NYC ferry ride and see the city from the water’s view along various routes: East River, Rockaway, South Brooklyn, Astoria, Staten Island, and more.

46. Don’t just take your child to see a Broadway show, let them become part of one in Pip’s Island, a creative interactive, performance art experience where the children are immersed in the adventure.

39. Make your way to the fascinating Hudson Yards public landmark, temporarily known as Vessel, and delight in this architectural feat.

experiments in the children’s adventure garden at the New York Botanical Garden.

Young foodies will find lots to taste at Smorgasburg, serving at four different city locations.

47. Who needs horses when you can hop aboard a SeaGlass Carousel in Battery Park City and see what it’s like to gracefully float in water?

40. Rent a bike at Wheel Fun Rentals in Marine Park

and do laps around the park in a chopper, quad sport, tandem bike, or surrey.

48. Get moving and learn how to dance or watch a musical performance in Let’s Dance at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.

41. Keep your math skills sharp and avoid summer

brain drain by playing math focused games at MoMath National Museum of Mathematics.

49. Chill out with a delicious frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3, or indulge in a “Can’t Say No Sundae”.

42. Volunteer to help dogs and care for them at an animal rescue shelter.

50. Sing and dance to Suzi Shelton, Justin Roberts and

43. Learn about rare birds, go bird watching, and enjoy nature programs at the Audubon Center.

Danielle Sullivan is a writer and mom of three living in New York City. Follow her on Instagram @Deewrite.

the Not –it’s at Madison Square Kids Concerts.

August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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neighborhood guide

Visiting Domino Park with the Family Plan your day at this gorgeous park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn By Donna LaDD

T

his past June marked the first anniversary of the fabu - Instagram friendly Domino Park. Located in North Brooklyn along the Williamsburg waterfront north of the Williamsburg bridge, this park was developed on the site of the old Domino Sugar Refinery. Cool fact, this refinery once produced the most sugar in the world! What makes this park unique is that it has a vibe of modernity while embracing the rich history of Williamsburg. Built to honor the generations of Domino workers as well as families of this neighborhood, the park is five acres of absolute wonder. Although the park is not enormous, it is packed with tons to do. When I take my kids to this park, we stay a minimum of four hours. One can easily spend their entire day at this

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New York Family | August 2019

park for it features an elevated walkway, plenty of grass for picnics, a dog run, bocce ball, beach volleyball, and more. With so much to do, how does a parent make the most of this uber-cool park? Knowing the best familyfriendly spots is key as you can plan your day in advance to make the most of your time. The Domino Park playground The playground at Domino park is tres chic with a Sugarcube Centrifuge, Sugar Cane Cabin, and the Sweetwater Silo as the main attractions for kids. These play pieces were designed to resemble the factory the park is named after and feature reclaimed wood and aluminum molds from salvage wheels. All from the Domino factory! My kids love this playground; however, by early afternoon, it is crowded. Helpful tip. My 9-year-old can run

around for hours, but for the young kiddies, it can be a bit chaotic. There are tunnels and high slides and structures like the Sugar Cane Cabin where unless you climb up with your child, you’ll lose sight of them. If you are visiting the playground for the first time, I suggest especially with toddlers you stay close. As they make their way along the tunnels and bridges if this is your first time at the playground, a watchful eye will help. My 3- year-old can only do the slide as he tends to be pushed aside by the five and older set. Poor kid – but one day he’ll be the one on the other side and will be able to enjoy the playground to its fullest. Water fountain and steps In line with the unique aesthetic of Domino Park, the water fountain isn’t your average fountain with one spout of water.


This fountain features 88 water jets, all individually-programmable! There’s plenty of room for kids of all ages to splash and play in the fountain area. A good tip to keep in mind when you head to Domino Park this summer, on the days of 90-degree weather or in the sticky humidity of August, plan to spend time at the water fountain at the end of your family adventure. When your kids start complaining about the heat on the playground, conclude the day at the water fountain, and they’ll leave feeling cool and happy! The fountain is also a great end destination because playing on the playground or eating lunch in a wet bathing suit or clothes is never the most comfortable option. This way, your kids get wet and then only have to keep their wet clothes on for the walk, car, or subway ride home. Now read closely, this is the best part: directly in front of the fountain is a pyramid of Seating Steps, composed of wood from the old factory, so moms and dads, you can keep a close eye on your kids in the fountain without getting wet yourselves. And when the sun goes down, you’ll have a fantastic view of the lighted water fountain with the Williamsburg waterfront and bridge backdrop. Elevated walkway If you want to enjoy amazing views of the river, skyline, and park, take a stroll across the catwalk. Suspended in the air, this elevated walkway extends from Gantry Cranes to the platform above Tacocina (which I’ll get to next!). Part of the reason why kids love Ferris wheels, and the swings at amusement parks is because being high up off the ground is exhilarating, and it’s something that you don’t get to experience on a day to day basis. This catwalk allows your whole family to experience this feeling of transcendence as they observe the world above, around, and below them. Something to be mindful of, however, is that while the hand railings along the sides of the catwalk are safe, they are also not super high. If your kids are the ones who love climbing on the outside of the playground slide (like mine!) then watch them on your catwalk stroll. I’d recommend tiring them out a bit first so that by the time the stroll along the catwalk their need to climb and high energy play will be out of their system. Overall, this walkway is a wonderful experience for families, so just time it right and be aware along the way! Delicious Mexican food for the kids With its outdoor seating, delicious menu,

and bright colored design, Tacocina is the family-friendly place to be this summer. While Tacocina is great for a mid-day break at the park, you could also skip the park one day and bring your kids to Tacocina for lunch. The Mexican inspired menu features a variety of creative tacos, chips, and salsa or guacamole, and drinks. Love and care go into these tacos, as Tacocina presses its tortillas, using a heritage breed of corn from coastal Oaxaca in southern Mexico. My kids love grabbing their taco favorites and sitting outside to enjoy them. Tacocina is also open seven days a week, year-round, so you have plenty of opportunities to check out this delectable destination. Domino extras The list of things to do at Domino Park seems to be never-ending because, in addition to its main features, the park hosts a series of events during the summer for more family fun. One of my favorites is “Domino Kids! Story Time.”Williamsburg Library teams up with Domino Park for an hour of reading out loads of new stories and classic tales. In addition to events, Domino Park also includes special features. We all know that a dog is a family’s best friend, so bring your furry friend to your family outing and visit the Dog Run! All breeds and sizes are welcome. Just a tip, though, while your furry friend is surely loving and friendly to your kids, not all dogs will be. Domino Park does have a policy that dogs with aggressive behavior must leave the Dog Run immediately, but be mindful about the dogs around your family. Most dogs love attention from kids and adults, but you never know as there are a select few who don’t. But the Dog Run is a great place for your dog to get some summer sun, and your kids will love playing with their dog at the park.

You don’t have to travel to San Francisco to see the cloud of fog anymore, because Domino Park creates it at the Fog Bridge. Especially if your kids have never seen a large amount of fog before, they’ll love the experience watching and stepping into the wondrous fog. If you get a chance, check out the Fog Bridge at night, when the fog is lit up for a capturing sight! The final feature I’ll mention is Beach Volleyball, bringing the authentic beach experience to Domino Park this summer (although there is no playing in the sand allowed at this “beach”). If you plan to visit Domino Park with a few other families or neighbors, start up a volleyball game. You can make a reservation in advance or just drop in. If you decide to drop-in, you may have to wait up to an hour for the current game to end before your family can take the court. Volleyball is both a classic summer and familyfriendly sport that your kids, especially for young children and older kids, will get a kick out of as they work together as a team. So enjoy Domino Park by spending a few family days there this summer. There is so much to do, so spread it out as we still have warm weather, and keep in mind these tips and tricks for when you go. In a park overloaded with activities and crowds of people, it can sometimes be overwhelming for moms and dads with young kids. But if you head to the family-friendly spots, you’re guaranteed to have a fun and safe day at Domino Park, with plenty of memories to hold onto afterward. But of course you have to capture the moment in a photo too, so be sure to take plenty of cute, family photos for Instagram while you’re at it (be sure to get the waterfront in the background)! Additional reporting: Mia Salas August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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Travel

A Nature Retreat in the Catskills Head out and unplug with the family at Mohonk Mountain House By ToBey GrumeT SeGal

T

he Mohonk Mountain House is an enigma. A majestic, castle-like compound nestled in the peaceful grandeur of the Catskill Mountains, it offers old-world service and a visceral feeling of history along with an open invitation to enjoy nature at its finest. And because it’s just 90 miles from the bustle of Manhattan, overlooking the quaint college town of New Paltz, it’s also the perfect getaway for New York families. After a two-hour car ride and a winding drive up a lush mountain road, we pulled up to a massive Victorian structure. Uniformed staff descended to take the car, secured our bags and got us checked in and comfortable. No, Mrs. Maisel wouldn’t be swinging by to drag us to a game of Simon Says and nobody would be suggesting Baby be put in the corner, but Mohonk is a solid reminder of the illustrious Catskill resort — where families would spend lazy summers socializing and being entertained with planned activities and plentiful amenities. Built around a glacial lake, which in turn is surrounded by miles of wooded trails, Mohonk swaps elegance for comfort. Leisurewear or hiking gear is encouraged by day — and though you’ll have to pack appropriate dinner clothes if you’re planning on making reservations in the resort’s Fine Dining Room, there’s no need for a cocktail dress or jacket. Organized around an all-

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New York Family | August 2019

inclusive philosophy, the price of your room includes meals, buffets served in large and well-lit dining rooms, and a long list of activities. But you don’t have to be social if that’s not your thing — the extensive, 1200acre grounds offer hours of self-exploration. Family friendly Families can also enjoy the complimentary Kid’s Club for children aged 2 to 12, with morning and afternoon sessions available, and even evening sessions for ages 4-12. The kids are grouped into Tykes, ages 2 to 3; Explorers, ages 2 to 6; and Adventurers, ages 2 to 12. Registration is limited so you may want to enroll early during the busier summer season. Plan to be busy or just relax An activity calendar is provided each morning in the lobby and includes a daily morning hike and house history tour as well as happenings as varied as pastels in the garden to tomahawk throwing. There are also six tennis courts (bi-weekly tennis lessons for kids aged 4 to 12 are also free of charge), an indoor heated pool, a nine-hole golf course, basketball courts, an 18-hole disc golf course and a handful of lake-inspired activities like fishing, boating, and swimming during the warmer months. Looking for some adult time? Book a treatment at the spa or just pay a day rate to relax in the mineral pools, saunas, and steam rooms.

Our stay Our double room overlooked the lake and included a working fireplace and a balcony with two comfy rocking chairs. No TV and no radio made it even more relaxing, though the resort does offer WiFi for those who need to stay connected. Because the Mohonk provided the lodging and food for our visit, they also gave us an engaging itinerary for our two-day stay, with enough wiggle room to make our own plans if so desired. Because the weather was still cool, we decided to eschew the rowboats and kayaking and thought about beginning a hike. But with over 85 miles of trails meandering around the property, we decided to save it for the next morning. To the left of the lake is a jumble of prehistoric-looking rocks, which after closer scrutiny turned out to be a combination of a climb/hike called the Rock Scramble. I cannot emphasize the fun we had climbing through and over these naturally formed boulders, up ladders and over small bridges and eventually, squeezing through what is known as the “Lemon Squeeze,” a tight, steep crevice. If you bring a backpack or tie a sweater around your waist — everything will need to come off to shimmy through. Once up (it should take approximately an hour) you’ll emerge to stunning, 360 views of the Hudson Valley. The Sky Top Tower is also a draw when you


reach the top, and if you have it in you after the scramble, you can climb to the tower for an even more spectacular vista. Our scheduled activity of the day was archery, so after the scramble, we hightailed it over to the range and joined a group to learn the basics. Learning how to shoot a bow and arrow felt just right surrounded by earthy woods, and the instructor was both kind and helpful. We each got at least three turns to hit the target, and most everyone in our group of all ages did just that — though there were a few stray arrows. After our already full day, we decided to take advantage of afternoon tea, which is served daily at 4 pm in the dining room overlooking the lake. With an assortment of hot and cold drinks and snacks, it’s a perfect way to give yourself a break — and the kids were happy to scoop up some cookies and relax on the waterfront seating. In addition to the nightly buffet, a fourcourse tasting menu is available in the Fine Dining Room for dinner — though we’d suggest booking ahead of time. A stunning farm-to-table experience, the menu offers a rotating, seasonal look at some of the freshest

ingredients available in the region. From fish and meat to locally grown fruit and vegetables, and even artisanal condiments, it is a feast to be savored slowly—and not available for kids under the age of eight (this may be when you investigate the evening Kid’s Club). Nightly activities include movies, lively discussions and nature gatherings. Shuffleboard, lawn bowling, croquet, and a small putting green are also a perfect way to enjoy some family time in the last gasp of the summer sun — though if you want to stay indoors, you can play billiards, cards or board games. For a spotlight on the resort’s history, download the new augmented reality experience called Hidden Histories, recently launched for the Mohonk’s 150-year anniversary. A fun and fascinating way to explore the Mountain House, you’ll use a smartphone and the free app to follow 12 pieces of artwork around the colossal halls — and unlock audio stories behind each one. Hiking in the 40,000-acre Shawangunk natural area is a large chunk of the Mohonk experience and you can choose your level, depending on time, level of fitness and age

of your party. The next morning, we chose a trail in the mid-to-upper range and did an approximately eight-mile loop called Trapps Bridge. Though this popular hike remains on the resort’s grounds, it offers stunning 360-degree views and a strenuous uphill climb on the return! Don’t want to break a sweat? Stick to the four-mile Duck Pond hike and walk the several carriage roads and trails that zigzag the property. There are also 120 different summerhouses to explore, including the Sunbonnet Summerhouse, built directly into a cliff. Finding each one can also be its own excursion. The true joy of the Mohonk Mountain House is not only the heady combination of nature, relaxation, and adventure, but its constant ability to surprise the whole family. Whether you want to spend the day being entertained or find your own path (literally), this resort holds the keys to a surprisingly close and simple a getaway for every type of New Yorker. Room rates start at $765 per night for two adults and each additional child ages 4 to 12 is an extra $125. August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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family fun

10 MUSEUMS

MUSIC

THEATER

ATTRACTIONS

FOOD

Outdoors

Great Kid-Friendly August Events in Manhattan By Mia Salas

LINCOLN CENTER FAMILY DAY August 3 The Lincoln Center has plenty of events lined up for Family Day, and they want you and your family to join! The Brown Rice Family performs their global music in the morning, including rock, Brazilian, Latin, funk, hip-hop, Afrobeat and more. Lola Lovenotes, an NYCbased muralist and visual artist, also do a live graffiti demonstration. There will also be spokenword performances, high-energy dancers, and storytelling, featuring Najee Omar and VIBEZ by SOLE Defined. Free, 11 am-2:15 pm. Hearst Plaza, 30 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023, lincolncenter.org

LOWER EAST SIDE WALK & FIND August 4 Embark on this walking tour and scavenger hunt with your family to visit the popular Lower East Side spots for kids in the early 1900s. Visit the country’s first municipal playground and the classic pickle shop. Take a trip to the past, learn more about New York City, and have fun exploring along the way! $14 adults, $8 students and seniors, 11 am-12:30 pm. Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002, eldridgestreet.org

SUMMER ON THE HUDSON: GAME DAYS Every Tuesday and Wednesday between August 6 and August 28 Take part in NYC Parks’ annual outdoor arts and culture festival with Game Days throughout August. If your children are twelve and under, bring them for an afternoon of endless games: giant tic tac toe, hopscotch, jump rope, hula hoops and more. Spend the last month of summer with your family, neighbors and friends at Game Days! Free, 10 am-2 pm. 125th Street and Marginal Street in West Harlem Piers, New York, NY 10027, nycgovparks.org

HESTER STREET FAIR’S BACK TO SCHOOL DAY August 10 As Summer comes to a close, instead of counting down the days left, make the days count at this fair! Celebrate the start of a new school year with food, music, games, and gifts alongside your family and friends. There will be plenty of art, design, music, and food vendors, so get ready to spend a fun day with your family and community. Free, 11 am-6 pm. Hester Street and Essex Street, New York, NY 10002, hesterstreetfair.com

SUNNi DAI KIDS FASHION WEEK August 10 Kids takeover the runway at this event, and Sunni Dai Kids Fashion Week welcomes you and your family to come watch in their NYC show. Check out the popular trends and styles in kids fashion, including brands such as Lola and the Boys, Mia New York, Beachboom Swimwear, Different is the New Cool, and more. Partnering with The F.R.E.S.H foundation, 10% of ticket sales will be donated to cancer research. $15 general admission & kids, $25 adults, $50 VIP seating, 1-4 pm. 393 Broadway, New York, NY 10013, sunnidai.com

INTREPID MUSEUM’S SUMMER MOVIE SERIES: COMMUNITY PICK

Learn about a fascinating part of the city at the Lower East Side Walk & Find on August 4.

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New York Family | August 2019

August 16 Revolutionize family movie night by watching the movie on a ship flight deck under the stars. There are plenty of preselected movies throughout the


summer, but the museum lets you choose the movie in August! There is one catch though — the options to choose from are all foodie-themed, such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Free, flight deck opens at 7 pm, doors close at 8:30 pm, seating is first come first served. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex, Pier 86 at 12th Avenue & 46th Street, New York, NY 10036, intrepidmuseum.org

SUMMER ON THE HUDSON: FLYNYC August 17 Bring your kite from home or use the free kite kits at FLYNYC. Fly kites with your children, watch all of the kites soar in the sky and enjoy music throughout the day. Free, 12-5 pm. Pier 1 in Riverside Park South, West 70th Street, New York, NY 10069, nycgovparks.org

HARRY POTTER-INSPIRED WIZARDS BRUNCH August 17-18 Does your family love Harry Potter? Have you binge-watched all the movies at family movie night? If so, then head to this brunch to immerse yourself into the magical world of Harry Potter. Enjoy a three-course meal, magic from wizards,

potion lessons, entertainment and Harry Potterthemed decor. And don’t forget to come in costume! Adult $130, under age 21 $85, 2-5 pm. Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, New York, NY 10011, thewizardsbrunch.com

Come check out the latest in children’s fashion at the Sunni Dai fashion show on August 10.

BRYANT PARK EMERGING MUSIC FESTIVAL August 23-24 Bring a blanket and maybe even pack a picnic style lunch for this music festival. Rising New York-based bands perform and your family gets to hear New York City’s best and newest music, from R & B to soul to even indie rock. Free, 6-10 pm. Bryant Park, 40th Street between 5th and 6th, New York, NY 10018, bryantpark.org

YOUNG ARTISTS EN PLEIN AIR August 24 Your whole family is invited to this outdooron The High Line. Create art using the gardens’ landscapes and contemporary artworks in En Plein Air for inspiration. There will also be drop-in art workshops and a parade to the Young Artists Dance Party. Free, 10 am-1 pm. The High Line between Gansevoort and 16th Street, New York, NY 10011, thehighline.org August 2019 | NewYorkFamily.com

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family fun

Featured event

Events Around the City By Mia Salas Aditional reporting Sarah Jackson and Michael Davis

SUMMER STREETS 2019 August 3, 10, and 17 You have three chances to participate in Summer Streets 2019 on three Saturdays in August! Almost seven miles of New York City’s streets are open for kids to run, bike, and play. There are also several activities, such as bubbles, yoga, zip line, obstacle courses, workshops for kids, fitness exercises, and street games, so bring your family for a fun and safe day outside. Hosted by the New York City Department of Transportation, the purpose of Summer Streets is to encourage environmentallyfriendly modes of transportation and create a space for recreation. Free, 7 am-1 pm. Open streets extend from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, along Park Avenue and connecting streets, nyc.gov

BROOKLYN BOTANICAL GARDEN BUTTERFLY WALK August 4 Marvel at the beautiful patterns and colors on the wings of different kinds of butterflies on this walk in the garden. Led by naturalist Paul Keim, learn about butterflies and the flowers that attract them. Bring your family to embark on the search for these pretty, flying creatures! $31, 11 am-1 pm. Administration Building Classroom 236, 990 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225, bbg.org

SUMMER ON THE HUDSON: SUPER SOCCER STARS August 8, 15, 22 and 29 Does your little one love kicking around the soccer ball outside? Then head to Riverside Park this August for

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NYCRUNS Brooklyn Ice Cream Social 5K & 10K August 24 Whether your family wants to run this 5K or 10K competitively or just walk with maybe some jogging, this run in the park is for you! Enjoy water and fresh fruit during the run and ice cream afterwards, so use the ice cream as your motivation. You’ll also get a t-shirt, and of

a morning of soccer, teamwork, and fun! Enjoy a recreational experience in a non-competitive environment with other kids, all ages 5 and under. The program focuses on soccer skills as well as confidence building. Free, 9:30-10:30 am. Riverside Park, 72nd Track and Lawn, New York, NY 10023 nycgovparks.org

POTIONS AND PLANTING TEA PARTY August 10 and 24 This isn’t your average tea party — it’s in a rooftop garden! Enjoy a traditional British, high tea platter and pink lemonade. There will be mini seats for stuffed animals or dolls — kids even get to bring a plus one. Bring your little ones, ages 5 to 10, to learn how to make potions and plant. Leave with planted seeds in a pot that you can watch grow

course, that amazing feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line. $30 register before 6/18, $35 register before 8/13, $40 until online registration closes, $50 register at race day, 8:00 am 10k, 8:15 am 5k. Center Drive, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY 11225, nycruns. com

when you bring it home. $25, 10 am. Gallow Green Garden at McKittrick Hotel, 542 West 27th St., New York, NY 10001, mckittrickhotel.com

38TH ANNUAL BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL August 11-16 Head to New York City’s longest-running public dance festival this August! Hosted by Battery Dance, this festival features international and local dance groups for a full week of music, dance, and singing. There will also be several dance workshops for an interactive experience. This lively festival attracts over 12,000 people each year, so bring your family to join in on the exciting and educational experience. Free, 7-9 pm. Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park, 20 Battery Place, New York, NY 10280 batterydance.org


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Kids can enjoy an afternoon tea and learn about growing plants at Manhattan’s McKittrick Hotel on August 10 and 24. MOVIES ON THE WATERFRONT SERIES: THE INCREDIBLES 2 August 12 Enjoy a waterfront view as you watch the second movie in the classic The Incredibles series. Join their family as they take on a new mission with a shift in family roles. This action-packed, comedic movie will have you on the edge of your seat, and it’s the perfect, kid-friendly film. Free, 8:15-10:15 pm. Astoria Park Lawn, Shore Boulevard between the Hell Gate Bridge and the pool, Queens, NY 11105, nycgovparks. org

PATTY CAKE THEATER PRESENTS DONKEY JOTE August 14 Patty Cake Theater takes the classic story of Don Quixote and brings it to life on stage in a bilingual adaptation. Your kids will love watching the adventures of Don Quixote from the perspective of his donkey in this family-friendly, comical show. Free, 6-7 pm. Highland Park, Elton Street and Jamaica Avenue, Queens, NY 11208, nycgovparks.org

14th ANNUAL JAZZ AGE LAWN PARTY August 24-25 Time travel back to the Jazz Age at this exciting, annual lawn party! There will be a Children’s Parade, High Court of Pie Contest, Croquet Tournament, Kidland with carnival games, gourmet food trucks, vintage clothing, dance contests and lessons, a magic show, a motorcycle exhibition and jazz music to last the entire day. $45 general admission for adults, Free for children 12 and under, 12-6 pm. Colonel’s Row on Governors Island, Hay Road, Brooklyn, NY 11231, jazzagelawnparty.com

SUMMER BRUNCH & SHOP- SEAFOOD EDITION August 25 Come with an empty stomach to this event, because there are over 150 vendors just waiting to sell you their delicious food from oysters, lobster rolls, paella, grilled octopus, fish tacos and so much more. After you enjoy the food, browse the array of shops from local artisans and independent dealers. Free attendance, prices of vendors and shops vary, 10 am-5:30 pm. Grand Bazaar NYC, 100 West 77th St., New York, NY 10024, grandbazaarnyc.org

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MoM StorieS

How to Be a New Yorker One mom’s words of wisdom to her daughter By Cris Pearlstein

B

eing a born-and-bred New Yorker has always been a point of pride for me. In my mind, I’m strong, tough, and savvy, thanks to where I’m from. I’m special and so are the almost 9 million people that also call this city home. But life has an interesting way of working out...in 2015, my husband (also a born-andbred New Yorker) and I picked up our mini doxie and one-bedroom-apartment amount of stuff and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. We were two 30-somethings who never imagined we’d ever live anywhere else, but when a job opportunity called, we answered, eager to take on the new adventure. How bad could it be? Talk about culture shock. Everything felt unfamiliar, and I felt different from everyone I met. It seemed I talked faster, walked faster, and thought faster than anyone I came in contact with. Was this how people felt when they moved from their quaint little towns to the Big Apple? I suddenly felt empathy for all those transplants. It took some time, but we eventually learned to appreciate the slower pace of the southwest, its more relaxed lifestyle, and the drastically cheaper cost of living. And then, having been unable to get pregnant in New York, we threw ourselves into trying to have a baby. The money we were saving in rent went instead to our fertility specialist. For almost four years, I was poked, prodded, and put under, my body a veritable pin cushion and my emotional state as fickle as the fashion trends that sauntered in and out of season. But after four IVF cycles the greater purpose of our stint in the desert was revealed when I finally gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Francesca Maggie—who we affectionately call Frankie. We’ve been back home in New York City for the past year, but here we are again, with another move around the corner,

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New York Family | August 2019

this time to San Francisco and this time with a clear mandate: to make sure our daughter (no matter where we live) is a New Yorker through and through. Dear Frankie, New York is already part of your roots but I want to make sure you grow up to embody the mindset, values, and grit of the place your father and I call home. You might not have been born in New York, but here are some rules, tips, and advice on how to live your life as if you were. 1. Never drive when you can walk. Walking will cause your heart rate to go up and your carbon footprint to go down—good for your health and the planet, a true win-win situation. When you walk, do it at a brisk pace, in a straight line, and with a sense of purpose, but all the while, be aware of your surroundings, look both ways, and if you bump into someone, just keep going. If you need to stop to smell the roses—or read a

text, or plot your route on Google Maps, or to literally smell some beautiful flowers— that’s fine, but please do us all a favor and pull over, preferably to the right. Oh and never look up. What are you a tourist? 2. The best food in the world is pizza. And the best pizza in the world is in New York. That is all. 3. Don’t be afraid of hard work. Hard work will get you places, it will get you noticed, and it will get you closer to your goal. One of the best things about New Yorkers is their work ethic, which I will do everything in my power to instill in you. In the age of influencers and Instagram, VIPs and podcasts, you have to be extra careful, sweet girl. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking all it takes to be successful in this world is some luck, some followers, and some well-edited content, but trust me when I say that is far from the truth. Don’t ever forget about what goes on behind the scenes, about the hundreds of photos it takes to get one winner. But any goal worth having


is worth taking a hundred pics for, so put in the work. You’ll be happier for it, even if there’s no guarantee you’ll get the winning shot every single time. 4. Having a washer/dryer in your apartment is an absolute luxury, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. So be grateful every single time you do a load of laundry. 5. You must develop a thick skin. Frank Sinatra once sang “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” and he was right, but not because New Yorkers don’t face hardships. He was right because we bounce back from them. Hardships are inevitable, so be resilient, sweet girl. When you get knocked down be sure to always stand up and try again. This is how you’ll become tough, this is how you’ll become bold, this is how you’ll work up the endurance to withstand whatever life throws at you. 6. Always carry a small umbrella in your purse. You never know when it’s going to rain, and frankly, neither do the meteorologists. 7. Sweet girl, always remember differences

are beautiful. New York is filled with many different types of people and that’s what makes it the greatest city in the world. No matter where you live down the road if you meet someone who is different than you, talk to them, connect with them, and try to find your common ground—and I promise there almost always is a common ground. Because one of the most important lessons I can teach you is that people are actually more similar than

they are different. Good people come in many forms, and they won’t always look like you or act like you—it doesn’t matter what language they speak, what culture they are from, how much money they make, or who they love. Good people are good people, no matter what. 8. Rush hour is not an hour. It’s four hours. Refer back to number 1. 9. Don’t fawn over celebrities when you see them in public. Ultimately they are just regular people, and they love this city because everyone here treats them as such. You might see them at the coffee shop, on the street trying to hail a cab, or on the yoga mat next to you but no matter what, be cool. Don’t be that person. 10. New Yorkers are strong, tough, and savvy, yes, but don’t forget that above all New Yorkers are nice. They will give you directions, help you get on the right train, hold a door open for you, give up their seat on the subway, and return a wallet to its rightful owner. Just don’t ever walk slowly in front of one. Love, Your mama, forever a New Yorker

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We asked

What Do You Cherish About the Last Days of Summer? I’ll forever cherish the fluidity of the summer months and our time spent (often in the ocean) together, as a family. as our rhythms change, I hope that my kids will always remember the ease and lightness of days spent inside waves and the importance of play and spontaneity.

@marinobambinos

saying “yes” to staying at the beach after 5 pm and packing up slowly, going for the last minute pool run before dinner or saying “ok” to an after-dinner ice cream run. The smile and laugh from my kids when a special request has been granted is so much fun. and then taking a minute actually to enjoy it is even better. even if that means everyone goes to sleep late and I’m covered in ice cream and probably tears too.

Monica Marino @marinobambinos

@sarah_bean_brooklyn

I cherish our end of summer traditions — last minute road trips and days at the beach. every summer I realize just how fast the kids are growing up which I think is why I find myself trying to squeeze in so much into our last days of summer. @nyctechmommy august makes me think nature is looking out for us. The sun literally melts away the little daily tensions and the too-shortness of the season offers us permission to find ease and lightness so we can fully enjoy our family before we go into Fall. @motheruntitled 66

New York Family | August 2019

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