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march 2020


Goodbye Plastic

The best reusable totes


Apartment Buildings

The Bold and the Brave Activist

Jodie Patterson

At Oasis I will... Play, Learn & Grow Gain Confidence Be Part of a Unique Community Unplug & Connect with Nature Try New Things Build Lifelong Friendships Have Positive & Supportive Role Models

Oasis Offers:

• Programs for Ages 3-15 • 8:30am-5:30pm • Extended day available • Hot Lunch Option • Flexible Enrollment: 2 - 7 weeks • AC Transportation • Carnivals & Tie Dye • Special Events • Imagination Playground • Legos & Robotics • Arts, Crafts, Music, Dance • Professional Sports Instruction & Clinics • American Red Cross Swimming Program

Join us for an info session!


at Queensborough Community College (22-05 56th Ave)

Saturday, March 7th at 11:00 am OR Saturday, March 21st at 11:00 am

Register Online Today! w w w.oasischildren.com 646-519-5059



March 2020


pg. 20

pg. 28

FEATURES 6 | Mom Hacks: Goodbye Plastic! The best reusable bags now that New York has banned single-use plastic bags 20 | Spring Clean Your Life Channel the power of springtime to give your whole life a makeover 24 | Family Volunteering Teach your kids about service and giving back in NYC 28 | Jodie Patterson: Bold and Brave The author and activist talks about her experience parenting a trans child and her new book, The Bold World

Stories & columns 4 | Editor’s Note Hello Spring 10 | Why Day Camp? How the experience of day camp can benefit your child 16 | Mom Stories Why it’s hard to raise a feminist, even when you are one 38 | The Last Word

Home & Away 30 | Hot Properties The best luxe apartment buildings for families

pg. 34

pg. 32

Family fun 32 | Take a Hike The best family-friendly trails and hikes in the city 34 | Calendar Unmissable events in Queens and beyond for March

Directories 12 | Camps Directory 18 | Charter School Guide

on the Cover Photo: Yumi Matsuo | yumimatsuostudio.com Hair & Makeup: Corey Sanders | coreysandersmakeup.com Cover clothing on Jodie: Zara top, Ulla Johnson skirt

March 2020 | Queens Family


Editor’s Note

NewYorkFamily.com Publisher: Hester Aba Executive Editor: Donna Duarte-Ladd Digital Editor: Katarina Avendaño Senior Adviser: Susan Weiss Digital Director: Erik Bliss Director, Business Development: Mary Ann Oklesson Partnership Managers: Erin Brof, Mary Cassidy, Shelli Goldberg-Peck Ad Ops Coordinator: Raphael Brutus Art Director: Leah Mitch Web Developer: Sylvan Migdal Graphic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti Nina Gallo Photography

Hello Spring When you live in a bustling city like New York, there is a noticeable shift with the arrival of spring. Off go the heavy coats, our walks home from the train are more enjoyable as the rays of sunlight rejuvenate us. Even spring flowers work their way through the cracks of the city’s sidewalk. With this season comes renewal and the recharging of our batteries and what better way to recharge than through stories of inspirational moms. Our cover mom this month, “The Bold Jodie Patterson” (page 28), teaches us about parenting with an open heart and the art of learning to adapt. Parents will love writer Cris Pearlstein’s essay on how her daughter is defining what being a girl means on her own terms in “Why

It’s Hard to Raise a Feminist ... Even Though I Am One” (page 16). Marie Kondo, anyone? If you’re like me and tackling a bit of spring cleaning in all facets of your life, then you need to read “Hello Spring! The Best Ways to Embrace the New Season in New York City” (page 20). While you’re out and about, check out our guide to “The Best Hiking Spots in NYC” (page 32) and head outdoors to soak up some nature. Lastly, check out our Family Fun (page 34) for events and activities in and around Queens!

Donna Ladd Executive Editor

Editorial Contributor: Mia Salas Editorial Interns: Isabelle Bousquette, Courtney Ingalls, Olga Uzunova

Contact Information

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

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

President: Victoria Schneps-Yunis CEO: Joshua Schneps Group Publisher: Clifford Luster

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


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

Reproduction of New York Family Media in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. ©2020 Queens Family Media, LLC



Advantage Day Camp—best day camp in NYC! • Every kind of fun imaginable, for campers 4 to 14 • Swimming, art, gym & field sports, enrichment, STEAM programs & excursions • Rock wall climbing at West Side location • Starts 6/15 East Side, 6/29 on the West Side

Advantage Junior Tennis Camp— best tennis camp in NYC!

• Players 7 to 17 focus on tennis, up close & all summer long! • Drills, games & match play plus swimming • Starts June 8, East Side & West Side

Advantage QuickStart Tennis Camp— best introduction to tennis ever!

• Customized by age & ability, for campers 4 to 8 • Friendly atmosphere, specialized instruction • Starts 6/15 East Side, 6/15 on the West Side

Advantage STEAM—best summer learning ever! • For children 5 to 9 • Kids explore, discover, collaborate & have fun • Exciting partners for 2020! Kasparov Chess Foundation and Snapology, learning through play with LEGO bricks & more! • Starts 6/15 East Side, 6/29 on the West Side

Pick your Camp. Pick your location. Earn unlimited $25 camp credits!* Choose East Side/Roosevelt Island or West Side/midtown Manhattan Quick & easy to reach NYC locations! Contact Bob Ingersole at bingersole@advantagecamps.net or 212.935.0250

Sign up today at advantagecamps.net * To earn Camp credits, refer a child who is new to Advantage Camps and enrolls. No time limit on referrals. March 2020 | Queens Family


mom hacks

The Best Reusable

Shopping Bags

The ban on single-use plastic bags is now in effect — here are our favorites for NYC life By IsaBelle Bousquette


t’s time to get your hands on some reusable shopping bags, New Yorkers! The statewide ban on single-use plastic bags went into effect on March 1st, 2020. Every retail establishment that pays a sales tax, from grocery to clothing stores, will be switching to paper bags. More likely than not, they’ll be charging 5 cents for those bags. So instead

Best Produce Bag: Net Zero Double Handle Cotton Net Market Tote Bag If you’re a frequent produce shopper, check out Net Zero’s Double Handle Cotton Net Market Tote Bag. The double strap design means this bag functions as a both handbag and over-the-shoulder bag for when it gets heavier. The straps are 100% cotton and are very durable. You can fill the bag with cans, and it still won’t break (although it won’t look as aesthetic as it does filled with fruit). The mesh style is not necessarily the best pick for comprehensive grocery shopping. However, it is perfect for a trip to the farmer’s market or a romantic stroll down the produce aisle! $18.99, netzerocompany. com


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

of getting flustered at the checkout counter (should you just spring for the extra 5 cent bag or can you carry a carton of milk for five blocks?) come prepared with a reusable shopping bag! But with so many great reusable shopping bags out there, how do you find the one that’s right for you? For New Yorkers who walk everywhere (except the places they take the subway), portability

Best Collapsable Bag: BeeGreen Basic Reusable Grocery Bags The adorable patterns aren’t the best part of the BeeGreen Basic Reusable Grocery Bags (although they’re close). These bags fold up into a square pouch, meaning they’re easy to carry around in your purse or pocket. Then, when you’re ready to do your grocery shopping, unfold and fill them with as much as you can. The reinforced stitching means they’re able to carry up to 50 lbs! The BeeGreen bags are so compact, you can keep one with you at all times. That way, if you decide to make a spur of the moment stop at the supermarket, you’re always prepared.$14.55 for a pack of five, beegreenbags.com

and convenience are key. We want the bags that zip up and fit in our purses when we’re not using them. Bags that don’t tear from the hustle and bustle of NYC streets. Bags that say: “I’m prepared, I’m environmentally conscious, and yes, I’m a New Yorker.” With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a list of the best reusable shopping bags that, like you, are ready to take on the big city.

Best Fashionable Bag: Verloop Knits Gossamer Reversible Bag This bag from Verloop is made of gorgeous iridescent gossamer and comes in a rainbow of fun colors. It’ll catch the sunlight as easily as it’ll catch all your friends’ attention. It won’t necessarily hold as much as other reusable shopping bags, but what it lacks in volume, it makes up for in style. Straight from Verloop’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection, this is a bag that’s definitely high fashion. And, if you’re passionate about mindfully created, innovative products, it’s worth checking out the rest of Verloop’s line. Who knows? You might find a gorgeous gossamer scarf to match your reusable bag! $34, shop.verloopknits.com

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Infant Classes and ABC Enrichment Classes also available For information call 1-800-404-2204 or 516-433-0003 Or log onto our website: www.justweetwo.com Other Locations: Park Slope & Brooklyn Heights, Plainview & Manhasset, Greenwich & North Stamford, CT

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Test Prep: SAT & ACT When Classes Are Offered: July 1 – August 12 (6 weeks) | Monday – Friday

English Section: (Reading, Writing, and Language) 90-minute class from 11:15am–12:45pm Math Section: 90-minute class from 12:55pm–2:25pm

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March 2020 | Queens Family


mom hacks

Best Portable Bag: BagPodz Reusable Bags BagPodz is absolutely the best way to carry around a ton of reusable bags at the same time. While many reusable bags collapse into their own pouches, BagPodz conveniently hold up to ten reusable bags. When you hit the register, just keep taking out as many as you need to fit all your groceries. The pouch itself zips up and has a clip on the back so you can attach it to your shopping trolley (or your belt loop, if you prefer). BagPodz are also sustainably produced, making your shopping experience eco-friendly from start to finish. $34.95 for a pack of ten, bagpodz.com

Best Lightweight Bag: Standard Baggu The Standard Baggu is kind of like your bread and butter when it comes to reusable shopping bags. It’s super basic and lightweight. Why do we like it? Because it comes in endless fun colors and prints, from red tartan to the Charlie Brown squad. Why do we love it? Because it’s made of 40% recycled nylon sourced from pre-consumer waste. The Standard Baggu holds 2-3 shopping bags (or 50 lbs.) worth of stuff, but it also comes in a Baby Baggu size and a Big Baggu size. Then, it folds up into a mini 5’’ by 5’’ pouch, so you can keep it with you at all times! $12, baggu.com


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

Best “Big Shop” Bag: Lotus Trolley Bags You won’t want to carry the Lotus Trolley Bags around with you every day, but they’re perfect for that once-a-week “big shop.” If you know you’re about to load up on groceries, then the Lotus Bags conveniently spread across the cart accordion-style in an innovative patented design. One bag is insulated, one comes with a special container for eggs, one with a special pocket for produce. (But if you’re looking for more produce pockets, check out the Lotus Produce Bags, which come in a set of nine!) When you’re ready to take your shopping out of the trolley, the rods slide out and you can pick up the bags from their side handles. The bags themselves are eco-friendly and machine washable. This purchase really takes convenience to a whole new level. $36.99 for pack of four, lotustrolleybag.com

Best Versatile Bag: Clevermade Snapbasket The Clevermade SnapBasket will serve you well in grocery shopping, but it’s also an investment for life. Use it as a gym bag, a laundry bag or even an overnight bag. The “snap” refers to the fact that it conveniently collapses into a flat slab, making it easy to store or pack away. This is definitely a bag that can carry a heavy load, with strong vegan leather handles and a capacity of 30 liters. And, if you’re using it as a purse, it has a built-in zipper pocket to store your valuables. $34.99, clevermade.com

Best Over-the-Shoulder Bag: Flip & Tumble 24/7 Bag The 24/7 bag is compact and colorful. If you’re looking for a bag that sits comfortably over your shoulder, this is the one. The felt patch underneath the strap makes it comfortable on your shoulder and keeps it from slipping. The 24/47 bag won’t carry as much weight as some other reusable bags (it holds up to 35 lbs), but it does roll up into an exceptionally small (3”) ball. The 24/7 bag could definitely become your go-to reusable shopping bag, and you can pick it up in every color, from coral to peacock, to match every outfit! $13, flipandtumble.com



(718) 939-0306 www.Familyspeechcenter.com Familyspeechcenter@verizon.net We accept most insurance plans


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Telecharge.com or 212.239.6200

For groups or birthdays call 866.642.9849

New World Stages 340 W. 50th St.

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March 2020 | Queens Family


whole group cheers them on because the whole purpose of the game being played at camp is to be part of a team and work together to succeed.” Making friends Duffy says that camp is one of the best places to form friendships. “Children are together all day and enjoying fun activities. They sing songs, swim, talk over lunch and play games and sports together in a relaxed environment that feels very different than school.”

Why Day Camp?

Great reasons why these camps are beneficial for your child BY JESS MICHAELS


onsidering day camp for your child? Day camp is often your child’s first steps towards independence and can help your child develop important life skills and interests that will last a lifetime. Not to mention day camp is just FUN! From swimming to arts & crafts to special event days, camp packs a whole lot of excitement into just a few weeks over the summer. Check out these great reasons why day camp can be so beneficial for your child. Independence Being away from you, even if just for the day at camp, allows your child to work on skills without your assistance and to explore their interests all by themselves. As a result, children gain confidence that they can do things on their own. Katie Duffy, Director of Camps for Asphalt Green in Manhattan says, “From taking the bus to and from camp to getting changed for swimming independently without the help of mom and dad, campers are practicing independence daily and feeling good that they have conquered something on their own.” Communication With children spending hours each day engaged in screen-based activities, it’s no surprise that children have lost the art of


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

communicating face to face and being able to recognize the emotions of others. Gordon Josey, Director of Breezemont Day Camp in Armonk, NY comments, “I believe that camp 20 or 30 years ago was nice to do but wasn’t as necessary as it is today. Camp is a place for children to disconnect—where children can just talk and laugh with each other, practicing face to face communication. You can be smartest kid in school but if you don’t know how to communicate and listen to others, you aren’t necessarily going to be successful in the 21st century.” Community Camp is an intentional community that your child is instantly welcomed into. Campers and staff share rituals and traditions unique to the camp which helps everyone become part of a tight knit and supportive community. “We have a dedicated group of people who work full time as camp professionals and only think about camp. It’s how we are able to create the culture and community we have,” says Josey. Gordon explains that camp is about team building and creating a safe place for children to try something new or hone skills they have already been working on. “Whether it’s a child who plays baseball during the school year and just hit a home run or the child who struggles athletically but just hit the ball off the T in T ball, the

Play The American Academy of Pediatrics states the importance of play in promoting healthy child development and believes it allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity and physical and cognitive, and emotional strength. “Unfortunately, today’s children no longer play,” comments Josey. “Whether it’s because of social media and video games or we as parents no longer let kids just go outside and knock on a neighbor’s door to play, camp is where a child can play the way we played as children. Expert instruction Want your child to get quality sports instruction this summer? Many day camps offer expert sports instruction while also allowing your camper to participate in traditional camp activities like arts & crafts and archery. “One of the best parts of camp is that children are exposed to so many different sports and activities, which allows kids to realize what they like,” says Josey. “Along with traditional camp activities, we offer expert instruction for our sports with a tennis professional teaching tennis and a NCAA Basketball pro teaching basketball, so if you are looking for quality sports instruction, it can be found at day camp.” Confidence School is great for learning math, reading and writing, but not every student walks away from the school day feeling confident. What’s so great about camp is that there are no tests or scores— only activities designed to help children build confidence. “Confidence comes in different ways at camp. When a camper performs in the camp talent show and gets a loud round of applause or when a child sets the goal to move up a swim level and then achieves it, they are gaining confidence and walking away feeling good about themselves,” says Duffy.

FREE Air-Conditioned Busses!!!

Door to Door Transportation

Open House Jib Lanes Sundays 12-3 March 8th & 22nd

March 2020 | Queens Family


camps Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Advantage Camps 450 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 281 W. Main St., Roosevelt Island, NY 212-935-0250; c ​ russell@ advantagecamps.net​(East Side) 646-884-9649; pfontana@advantagecamps. net (West Side) advantagecamps.net Giving NYC kids the best summer ever! East Side and West Side, Advantage means fun! Advantage Day Camp offers a variety of sports, art, enrichment and experiences for kids ages 4-14. Plus complimentary early dropoff and late pickup. Advantage STEAM Camp is where campers ages 5-11 explore, discover, collaborate and enjoy. Advantage Junior Tennis Camp helps players 7-17 focus on the game, with drills and match play, plus swimming. Advantage QuickStart Tennis Camp is tennis customized for age, ability and fun, for ages 4- 7! Two great locations – Roosevelt Island Racquet Club/Sports Park and


Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club/The Beacon School. Choose days, weeks or all summer. Sign up now!

Blue Dolphin Summer Camp Jamaica, Queens, NY 718-847-6470 bluedolphincamp.com A 2-8 week program from 7am-6pm for campers ages 3 to 15 with bus service available. This camp is a great place for children to make friends in a relaxed and fun-filled environment, to build self-esteem and independence and to challenge themselves with new physical and creative activities, such as taekwondo, ceramics, basketball, softball, tennis, yoga, lacrosse, hockey, gaga ball, and so much more! With a caring staff and instructors and diverse programs; it’s easy to understand why so many campers love Blue Dolphin Summer Camp.

NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

CK Kids Summer Camps Middle Village, Queens, NY (718) 366-7454 ctkny.org Don’t Miss the Summer Fun at CK! Christ the King has 6 exciting summer camps to offer children of all ages (3-16). Camps appeal to all interests’ soccer, basketball, cheerleading, media, dance, drama, cooking, arts, waterslides, and karate. On-site Math and ELA programs available. CK Kids also offers special weekly camps for cooking and princess & pirate themed. All activities take place on the CK Campus. Come for a week or the whole summer! Flexible scheduling, convenient location, sibling and multiple week discounts.

Garden School Summer 33-16 79th Street, Jackson Heights, NY 718-335-6363 info@gardenschool.org gardenschool.org/ programs/ summer/

For children Nursery to 13 years old. Garden School Summer Camp is able to customize your schedule to suit you and your camper. Half-day, full and extended days are available from 7:30 am-6:00 pm. Activities include Arts, Academics, Sports, and STEAM. Free swim is included at our onsite swimming pool, as well as lunch and snacks for full-time campers. Doorto-door transportation is available for a fee.

Oasis Day Camp at QCC Bayside, Queens, NY 646-519-5057 oasischildren.com A camp for campers ages 3 to 15. Their staff focuses on creating activities and instruction that are developmentally appropriate for the varied ages of their campers. Campers are split into Lower Camp, Upper Camp, and two specialty programs, Early Start Imagination Camp for the


s • Coo Martial Art g s • Swimmin Arts & Craft • Day Trips Computers and More!

ntering Pre-K All Children E ! Are Welcome e d ra G th 8 to

UST 14 JULY 6 – AUG ay

rough Frid Monday th :00pm 9:00am – 4 the Day, Register by ll 7 Weeks! Week or Fu



For more information or to schedule a private tour, visit www.kewforest.org/summer or call 718.268.4667 x108

Before & Af te is Available

r Care





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FOR AGES 7-19 Coding. Game dev. Robotics. Digital arts. This isn’t just a camp. It’s an experience unlike any other. Here, you push past the boundaries TKXHMTTQƴSINSL^TZWXVZFIFSIGTSINSLT[JW the latest tech. Led by expert instructors, you will GZNQIYMJXPNQQXSJJIJIYTKTWLJFGWNQQNFSYKZYZWJ


Request your brochure today!

iDTechCamps.com | 1-888-709-8324 March 2020 | Queens Family


camps Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

youngest children ages 3 to 5 who are fully potty trained, and their Teen Travel Program for kids ages 12 to 14. Extended day trips and even overnights are part of this teen experience. They have everything a camp should have; great facilities, loads of activities, and most importantly the most well trained, caring staff in the industry.

Magic Day Camp Bayside, Queens, NY (718)-634-8109 contactus@magicdaycamp. com magicdaycamp.com Convenient Bayside location. Door-to-Door Transportation throughout Queens & Long Island for children ages 4–15. Magic Day Camp has given generations of children a safe and rewarding environment to explore new and enriching experiences that foster both mental and physical growth. With daily swimming at a private pool, daily trips, sports programs,

dance programs, parks, state of the art facilities, celebrations, and incredible summer days. “Every day is truly magical!”

Summer at The Kew Forest School Forest Hills, Queens, NY 718-268-4667 kewforest.org/page summer@kewforest.org To serve the community’s need for a safe and exciting summer program, The Kew-Forest School offers Summer at Kew-Forest! For all children entering grades pre-K to 8. Their academics provide enrichment in reading, writing, and mathematics in a relaxed environment while their recreational program builds individual interest in activities like art, sports, cooking, swimming, drama and more. Register by the day, week, or for the full seven weeks! Before and after camp care options are also available. Ask them about their available

discounts or how you can schedule a private tour.

Kimmy Ma Art Studio Fresh Meadow, Queens, NY 646-209-9352 kimmyMa-ARTStudio.com Summer 5-week programs (7/7-8/8) art fundamentals are beginner friendly for age 5+ and aim to explore various arts mediums, charcoal, illustrations, watercolor & acrylics. Summer intensive program focuses on technique building for age 9+ while 1:1 private lessons are available for serious young artists. Fine Arts Curriculum is designed by Mrs. Kimmy Ma, (1996) Master of Art NYU school of education. Download tuition & class schedule from website. View over 3000 student art works in FB album: www.facebook. com/kimmyartstudio/ Schedule an info session or attend Open House & Annual Art SHOW 5/30 & 5/31

YMCA of New York ymcanyc.org/programs/ camp/find-camp With dozens of locations across the five boroughs, as well as a Sleepaway Camp upstate- New York City’s YMCA has a summer camp that your child will love — at a location convenient to you! All Y camps feature: • Well-trained staff who serve as positive role models • Activities and games that develop self-esteem and leadership skills • Activities that promote cultural diversity • Exposure to new ageappropriate, challenging, and fun experiences • An atmosphere that fosters fairness, teamwork, and cooperation • Visits to the City’s top attractions, including zoos, aquariums, parks, and museums • Health, exercise, and nutrition education Check online for locations and open house dates!

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Arts curriculum: Illustration, charcoal, pastels, watercolor & acrylic

Spring 16wk (Feb-June)

*Art Fundamentals (90-min format) M/T after school, Sun & Sat *Young Artist (2.5hr format) W/Th/F after school & Sat 9:30, 12:15

Summer Art Fundamental (7/6-8/8) School age learners, Beginner Friendly M/T/W/Th/F 4:15-5:45 Saturday 9:30 & 11:15

Summer Intensive (7/7-8/6) 1-3:30 TWTh Age 9+ Medium based curriculum weekly Ability level instructions


646-209-9352 • 190-19 Union TPK, Fresh Meadow, NY 11366 Art curriculum designed by Mrs. Ma, Master of Art, School of Education NYU

Summer Camp

facebook.com/kimmyartstudio Instagram: kimmymaartstudio

June 29th through

Field Trips every week

Ages 3-15

Fun Camp Events & Activities

ondo Taekw & ids Fit K Cross

Roller Skating

Foam Parties st


29 June

st 21 ugu h-A

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Open House Dates

Saturday March 7th 11:00pm - 1:00pm Wednesday March 18th 4:00pm - 6:00pm Thursday March 26th 4:00pm - 6:00pm Thursday April 2nd 4:00pm - 6:00pm



Camp Activities

Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Basketball, Gaga, Carnivals, Indoor Swimming Pool, Arts & Crafts, Air Conditioned Rooms, Free Early Drop Off, Dorney Park, Sesame Place, Laser Tag


August 21st, 2020 www.gardenschool.org/ programs/summer or call to schedule a tour

(718) 335-6363 Full Day - 9 - 4:00 Half Day - 9 - 12

Early Drop Off and Late Day Pick-up Available Lunch & Snack Included for all Campers Door to Door Transportation March 2020 | Queens Family


mom stories

Why It’s Hard to Raise a Feminist ... Even Though I Am One My daughter can decide on her own what being a girl means By Cris Pearlstein


rankie, it’s time to clean up your blocks,” I said. “Can you put them back in the bin?” She nodded while sucking her thumb, and began to do as I asked. A one-handed cleanup, on account of the thumb sucking, but eventually it was done. “Good girl!” I exclaimed. A version of this exchange happens quite often lately since Frankie will be turning 2 years old very soon, and reinforcing good behavior is my daily M-O. As the person who spends the most time with her, it’s super important for me to remember that I have to capitalize on the hundreds of teachable moments we encounter every day. I want her to be a good person, someone who shares with her friends. I feel strongly that she should treat animals with kindness and wonder. I want her to learn to treat her things — toys, books and stuffies — with respect. And I also want to make sure she gets into the habit of cleaning up after herself. This week she did a lot of things that made me proud. She gave our dog a sweet hug and patted his head. “Good girl, Frankie!” I said, making a big deal about how she was being gentle. She shockingly held my hand without complaint (something she rarely does) on our way home from the playground. When we got to our front door I knelt down and looked into her eyes, “You were such a good girl on the walk home!” And yesterday she said “please” and “thank you” without me having to remind her. “You are a very good girl for asking so nicely,” I told her, handing over the pretzels she was hoping for. But I began to see a pattern. I wondered


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

if my choice of words were actually a secret message I didn’t realize I was even sending. Is she taking away the idea that girls are only “good” if they follow directions? Will she think that the behaviors I’m praising her for are the only things that will make her “good”? And above all, is being a “good girl” an outdated expectation that her male counterparts don’t have to face? Here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with being “good,” and there’s nothing wrong with being a “girl.” But putting those words together over and over again in the form of praise just seems a tiny bit dangerous to me. I want her to know that all people should strive to be good, not just girls. And I want her to know that as a girl there are many things to strive for, other than just being good. A few weekends ago my husband and I went for a walk around our neighborhood,

toddler and dog in tow. We were planning to pop into some shops and so we opted for the umbrella stroller, which has a much smaller footprint than the monstrosity I use every day. But its narrower seat means Frankie tends to spread her legs wide open and let her feet hang over the sides, oftentimes kicking the people and things around us — which defeats the purpose of choosing the smaller stroller in the first place. My husband, with only good intentions, said to her, “Close your legs Frankie, that’s not ladylike.” The gears in my brain immediately started turning. The word “ladylike” didn’t sit well with me. Should anyone sit with their legs sprawled out? Surely not. Isn’t it rude to take up an obnoxious amount of space in public, especially when you live in a city of close quarters? Yes, of course. This concept hadn’t occurred to me before, but it came out as if I had been thinking about it for days. “How about, it’s not humanlike?” I added. My husband, an incredibly smart and open-minded man, thought for a second and said, “Yeah, you’re right...humanlike,” as if the gears in his brain were turning, too. According to Merriam Webster the definition of “feminism” is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes,” and I think if you asked most people they would say they agree with this sentiment — even if they don’t identify with the word itself, which can sometimes serve as a lightning rod for controversy. What I don’t think most people realize is that achieving this equality means more than passing laws. It means more than hiring more women in the workplace. It means more than electing women into office. I would argue that one of the most important paths to achieving true gender equality, whether you like the word “feminism” or not, is adjusting our language to reflect those values. It is a difficult task to reevaluate words and phrases we have been using for decades that seem normal,

harmless, and inoffensive. But we have to ask ourselves — especially when dealing with our children, who are nothing if not giant sponges — does the language we use on a daily basis undermine the philosophies we are trying to teach? Frankie sleeps with six “friends” in her crib — every day before naptime and every night before bedtime I line them up and she takes a roll call. There’s Corn, a purple unicorn with wings; Boxy, a little white fox with a bushy tail; Bear, a soft ivory-colored bear with a floral bow; Sophie, a small labradoodle with an apricot coat; Girl, a handmade dog with a pink dress and a flower crown; and her favorite of them all, a classic brown teddy bear named, you guessed it, Teddy. These are the main characters of her life, that she named herself. They are the “people” we talk about a hundred times a day. I noticed early on that without even realizing it I assigned every one of them (along with every other toy she owns) the pronoun him, for no apparent reason. The stuffed dachshund my best friend sent me when I was still pregnant? Him. The cat figurine

I wondered if my choice of words were actually a secret message I didn’t realize I was even sending. that came with the hand-me-down Duplos from sister-in-law? Him. The squeezable sea creatures in the bathtub, like Shark, Turtle, and Whale? Him, him, and him. Unless it’s wearing a dress (like Girl) or it’s truly supposed to be a girl (like Sophie), I rely on he and him pronouns all the time. I don’t know why I do this and I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to stop. The only thing I can come up with is that it’s difficult for me to undo a lifetime of gender stereotypes, patriarchal language, and outdated assumptions that I’ve been conditioned to for the past 37 years. I have to imagine that just like quitting any long-time

bad habit (like smoking cigarettes) changing the words you’ve used all your life requires hard work, too. But it’s the kind of thing that’s impossible to quit cold turkey because I don’t always realize I’m doing it, the words just come out. Undoing second nature feels like an impossible feat. I went on a preschool tour recently where the director of the program used the phrase “thumbs up” to praise all of her students, boys and girls. I loved it and when I got home I immediately used it on Frankie. Now every time I say it she sticks her two little thumbs up and smiles. That feels like a small win. Trying to break the decades-long cycle of patriarchal language is a huge undertaking, but I think for my family it will happen slowly, one neutral praise at a time. For now my goals are to leave enough wiggle room in our conversations for Frankie to decide on her own definition of what being a girl means to her, to replace “good girl” with “good job,” and to remember that whenever I tell her how cute she is (which is really, really often!) to balance it out by also telling her that she’s smart and strong.



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March 2020 | Queens Family


charter Schools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement Forte Prep 51-35 Reeder Street Elmhurst, NY 11373 929-666-4430 forteprep.org Forte Prep is a charter middle school open to students in grades 5-8. We are driven by a philosophy of achieving excellence in all facets of life and learning. We believe that education can transform the lives of students from diverse backgrounds. Through rigorous academics, creative & technological enrichment and leadership development, we prepare our students to excel at college preparatory high schools and beyond. Forte Prep graduates can enroll in top-quality public, independent and charter high schools across the city and beyond, and we work with students and families to help them get there starting Day 1.

Merrick Academy 136-25 218th Street Springfield Gardens 11413 718-479-3753 www.merrickacademy.org Founded in 2000, Merrick Academy is one of the first charter schools to open in New

York City and the very first to open in Queens. Serving over 500 students, Merrick Academy provides students with innovative avenues to connect, learn and discover their greatness. Our school community offers students: A creative, common core aligned curriculum, which includes foreign language studies, arts education and a STEM program. Personalized, datadriven instruction. Technology integrated into all subjects. Extended school day with classes from 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. After School Program and a Saturday Academy. The National Elementary School Honor Society to foster the development of leadership skills and an engaged parent community, led by a dynamic Parent Teacher Organization.

Middle Village Preparatory Charter School Middle Village 718-869-2933 www.middlevillageprep.org info@middlevillageprep.org Our school prepares students for success at a selective college prep high school of their choice. The curriculum

Small school, big dreams, college-ready. Forte Prep students outperformed the district, city, and state in ELA and Math in our first two years of operation. Join our tight-knit community of diverse and creative learners! Serving grades 5-8 in 2020-21 51-35 Reeder Street Elmhurst, NY 11373


is rigorous and designed to meet and surpass the New York State Education Department requirements. Central to the instructional model is a longer school day and increased classroom instructional time that is devoted to curriculum subjects. Students will master skills and attain subject proficiency by the end of the 8th grade. Included is a requirement that all students study Latin for three years, a key language for building a strong vocabulary and understanding of romance languages such as Spanish and Italian. Mathematics and English Language Arts are prioritized by allocating twice the amount of instructional time that is customarily devoted to these critical instructional areas. Science, Social Studies, the Arts, Physical education and Health, along with time allocated for enrichment and extracurricular activities round off the typical daily schedule. It requires that all students take available Regents-level courses, such as Algebra 1,Earth Science and U.S. History 1 in grade 8.

VOICE Charter School of NY: Lena Horne Campus (3rd-8th) 36-24 12th St., Long Island City 718-361-1694 VOICE Charter School of NY: Lower Campus (K-2nd) 37-15 13th St., Long Island City voicecharterschool.org VOICE Charter School is an elementary and middle school located in Long Island City. They combine rigorous academics with daily instruction in choral singing, encouraging creative and critical thinking while improving academic performance. Opened to NYC kindergarten and first grade students in September 2008 across two sites located two blocks apart, VOICE has added a full grade every school year and now serves students in grades K-8. The mission of VOICE Charter School of NY is to create a safe and healthy learning environment that will nurture, motivate, and challenge all of our children to achieve the highest level of academic excellence and to develop into mindful, responsible, contributing participants in their education, their community, and the diverse society in which we live.

All students will learn. All students will sing.

Learn! Sing! We are currently accepting applications. Contact us for applications and more information. Children who live in district 30 have priority as required by state law.



NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

Long Island City, New York (718) 361-1694 • www.voicecharterschool.org


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March 2020 | Queens Family


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The best ways to embrace the new season in New York City By Mia SalaS


he first day of spring is just around the corner on March 19, which means the weather is about to (hopefully) get a whole lot warmer, buds and maybe even some flowers will start to appear, and everyone will be shaking off those winter blues. Eventful and lively in any season, NYC is especially vibrant in the spring with all the many opportunities to workout, get in touch with nature and the outdoors, catch the latest in fashion, eat delicious and healthy food, and relax & rejuvenate your mind and body. We’ve rounded up the best ways to kick off spring in NYC so that you can have all the energy you need to thrive this season. Get Active

Shape Up NYc: Zumba Poe Park Visitor Center, 2640 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10458

Looking for a free fitness class to get your workout grind back on? We love Shape Up NYC, a class that combines Latin, international, and popular music with dance moves to create an aerobic workout. It’s always tough to stick to a workout schedule, but with a weekly class, you’ll have the motivation to get moving and grooving! Every Saturday, Free, 10-11am.


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

Morning Fitness at Fort tryon Park Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park, Cabrini Boulevard and Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY 10040

Breathe in the fresh (soon-to-be spring!) air with this morning fitness class. If you’re not much of a gym person, try this outdoor workout as trained professionals lead you through walking, stretching and strengthening exercises. Exercise with a view, in natural sunlight, with green scenery all around that has health benefits that can’t be found indoors. Every Tuesday and Thursday, 7:30-8:30am, Saturday walks begin at 8:30am, Free. NYRR Open Run Multiple locations

Break out your running shoes for this weekly run through the park. Kids are welcome to join as well! NYRR Open Run is a community-based, volunteer-led running initiative- bringing free weekly runs and walks to local neighborhood parks. The best part about these open runs is that they take place all across NYC, so they’re super convenient. There are five parks in Queens, five in Brooklyn, two in Staten Island, four in Bronx and two in Manhattan that host open runs. Be sure to visit NYRR Open Run online to check out the specific parks and times, as

well as register in advance. Strollers, dogs and little ones of all ages are welcome — just be sure to fill out the waiver for your kiddos. the High Line Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, New York, NY

Bring your family, strollers and furry friends to the High Line to enjoy some time outdoors and check out all of the beautiful spring sights that the elevated pathway has to offer. Make your way through luscious gardens, art displays and plenty of spaces to sit down for a rest and peek out at the busy city beneath you. Another reason the High Line is best in the spring — the vendors return after the cold winter season to bring you delicious food. So after your power walk, casual

sign up for a class so that you can be in your favorite part of the room. Classes include the Mellow Hum, Foundation Hum, Unified Hum and Dynamic Hum, ranging from gentle movement to challenging flow and strength content. Check out the schedule of classes to see what class time works for you. You’ll love the flexibility, with class times lasting from 6am to 8:30pm to accommodate your busy NYC lifestyle. Single class $35, Unlimited Monthly Classes $195, 10-Class Pack $250, Introductory Offer (Unlimited Classes for 3 Weeks) $75, Sound Bath $25. In ToucH WITH naTure & THe ouTdoors Brooklyn Botanic Garden Tours 990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225

We love the Chase Away the Winter Blues Outdoor Tour at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, taking place on March 1, 12-1pm! Join Lynne Spevack, a licensed psychotherapist for this outdoor wintertime walk. Learn the simple lifestyle practices that can help you maintain a sunny outlook. March’s theme is Early Spring Flowers, so celebrate the transition to spring by checking out over a dozen different species of flowers. There’s also Nature Walks with Bradley Klein: Preparing for Spring on March 8, 11am-12pm. Catch a glimpse of the Garden’s awakening animals and plants, just in time for spring. Both tours are free with Garden admission. First signs of spring Tour Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park, Cabrini Boulevard and Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY 10040

stroll or morning jog, treat yourself to some yummy bites. Karma Kids Yoga Multiple locations

We’re obsessed with the parent & child yoga classes at Karma Kids Yoga. Get active with your kiddos as you benjoy a yoga session full of relaxation, imagination, and plenty of poses and stretches to practice at home. Classes include Baby Yoga & Developmental Movement, Mom & Baby Yoga, Mom & Baby Pilates, Parent & Child, Storytime, and Family Yoga. There are also Kids Only classes, including a class for kids with special needs. Also check out the Prenatal Yoga, Pilates and Power classes, as well as some of the classes for teens and bigger kids if your little ones are now

not so little! Pre-registration is often required, but drop-ins are welcome- no need to buy a membership or class package unless you want to. Class rates vary per yoga studio, so be sure to keep up to date with the weekly schedule. Humming Puppy 119 West 23rd Street, Level 2, Suite 200, New York, NY 10011

Want to practice yoga without your kiddos? We totally get it- everybody needs some “me time”, especially NYC mamas! We suggest Humming Puppy, the 80-degree yoga studio that quite literally hums with a combination of frequencies to enhance and deepen your experience. Class sizes are limited so that you can have plenty of personal space, and you can even reserve a specific mat when you

What better way to get back in touch with the outdoors than this First Signs of Spring Tour? Bring your family on a walking tour of the Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park with horticulturist Madeline Byrne. Learn about the plants currently in bloom and all about the Garden’s history. Compare the Heather Garden with the plants found at the New York Botanical Garden, where Byrne has over 15 years of experience. Spring is just around the corner, so get ready by spotting the signs of spring in nature. March 1, Free, 1-2pm. Garden Projects, Games & More at Queens Botanical Garden 42-50 Main Street, Flushing, Queens, NY 11355

There’s a lot going on at Queens Botanical Garden once spring rolls around. If you’re looking for an event for the whole family, March 2020 | Queens Family


Children’s Garden Family Day on March 21, 1-4pm features planting activities, garden crafts, create your own trail mix, a gardenwide scavenger hunt and more. Another family-friendly spring event is the Garden Creatures Community Art Project, a drop-in Saturday workshop that uses paper-mâché and paint to create collaborative sculptures of flowers, mushrooms, insects and other spring-like creatures. Stop by any Saturday in March, 2-4pm. Both of these events are free! It’s also never too early to start thinking about your summer veggies, so register for the Start Your Summer Veggies Workshop on March 15 or 29, 11am-1pm. Recommended for adults and kids ages 10 and up, you’ll take home your own starter garden. Drop-ins welcome upon availability, but sign up to be safe: $20 non-members, $15 members. The Orchid Show: Orchid Evenings 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458-5126

Put a spin on your typical winter date nights and have a romantic evening at the New York Botanical Garden to kick off spring. One of New York City’s most spectacular evening outings, The Orchid Show is a kaleidoscopic display of dazzling orchids. The singular style and high energy of the evening performers set the stage alongside signature cocktails and local flavors from the Bronx Night Market. On Saturday nights, you can even make a reservation for a pre-show dinner or light bite at the Hudson Garden Grill. Now in its 18th year, The Orchid Show will surely not disappoint! Orchid Evenings take place on March 14, 20-21, 27-28 and April 3-4, 10-11, 17-18. Entry times are 7, 7:30, 8 & 8:30pm. $39 non-member, $29 members. Macy’s Flower Show: Voyage to Oceanum Herald Square- 151 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001

For over 70 years, Macy’s has been designing beautiful garden displays for the Macy’s Flower Show, and this year is no different. With 2020’s theme, Macy’s imagines a world that exists way down below — from colorful underwater flowers and coral reefs to mythical creatures from the ocean’s abyss.


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

From the moment you walk into Macy’s, you’ll embark upon an exciting under-the-ocean odyssey, discovering long-lost treasures and breathtaking aquatic beauty along the way. Deep dive into spring with this sea of inspiration, opening on March 22, and staying on display through April 5. Take a Closer Look...at Spring! 450 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225

On weekends in March and April, head to Prospect Park Zoo for Take a Closer Look... at Spring! Celebrate spring, nature and learn how to use your powers of observation to explore the natural world around you. Explore the zoo, play games, enjoy interactive activities and try drawing your observations with your own nature sketch book activity. This is a great way to spend an afternoon or morning with your family as you break into the spring season. Free with Zoo admission, 10am-4pm. The Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 100245102

Open through May 25, this popular annual seasonal exhibit is back with more than 500 free-flying butterflies amid lush tropical plants! Revisit your love of nature this spring by checking out these fluttering, symmetrical creatures. The exhibit features butterflies from three families: Pieridae, Papilionidae and Nymphalidae. Learn all about their colors, patterns, behaviors, environment and more as you make your way through the conservatory. Timed entry daily, every quarter hour from 10:15am5pm. Select a General Admission + One or General Admission + All ticket and choose Butterflies. Kite Flying in Central Park Central Park, New York NY

Bring your kiddos to one of the best NYC parks for a fun day outside. If it’s a breezy day, bring your kite to fly up high in the sky. While kite flying is allowed in Central Park

year-round, windy winter days are definitely not the best for the classic spring/summer activity, unless you really bundle up. We recommend looking ahead at the weather and choosing a warm spring day with plenty of wind to get your kite soaring! Edge 30 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001

Explore the outdoors from 1,100 feet high in the air with Edge, opening March 2020 in Hudson Yards! As the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere, Edge combines cutting-edge technology, engineering and architecture to provide panoramic views of the city. With angled glass walls, a glass floor, skyline steps and a champagne bar, Edge will be an experience like no other, and a daring, exhilarating start to your many more outdoor spring adventures. Ticket packages vary. SPRING FASHION Mansur Gavriel Circle Bag

What better way to welcome a new season with Mansur Gavriel Circle bag in blush or coral. No, not a diaper bag or a bag that is going to hold the baseball mitts and the baby wipes. An actual bag that you maybe can fit twelve items in. Yes, something that may be deemed frivolous but is downright gorgeous and says, “hello, spring.” Women’s Trend Report at Nordstrom

Catch the latest in fashion with Nordstrom’s Trend Report. These popular trends embody spring in every way, from color to pattern. Graphic Florals is a perennial favorite, featuring blown-up proportions on floaty, tiered lengths and abstract, bloom-scattered motifs on effortless silhouettes. Pastel Pop reimagines closet must-haves into bursts of color for a timeless, yet modern attitude. Wear one pastel hue or let your accessories pop on a muted palette. These pastel looks mean business. Order online, or head over to the Nordstrom flagship store just south of Central Park! Tenoverten x HATCH Trio

Your nails shouldn’t get left out of the spring fashion makeover. We’re obsessed with this Tenoverten x HATCH Trio collab. Tenoverten, pioneers of the non-toxic nail movement, and HATCH, the premium life-

style brand for clean, mama-safe beauty and timeless clothing for pregnant women and beyond, join forces to launch three shades of nail polish along with in-salon services for new moms and the mom-to-be. These clean and safe brands are also full of life, brightness and sunshine, perfect for the spring. Inside, you’ll find Feisty Mama (magenta), Zen Mama (blush) and Poolside Mama (coral) for $36. If you really want the whole effect, get your HATCH MAMA manicure or pedicure at one of the tenoverten NYC locations: Financial District, Soho, Midtown and Tribeca.

part of their culinary team to research, qualitycheck and liaise with purveyors including farms, local winemakers, craft breweries and greenmarkets. The menu changes daily based on seasonal availability, but PRINT. offers healthy and delectable dishes year-round. And with a beautiful interior design, you’ll surely have a romantic evening.

Ulla Johnson Dress

The Farm on Adderley 1108 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn, NY 11218

The New York Family staff of moms here are a bit obsessed with Ulla Johnson. This spring, we have our eyes on one of her floral pieces. Her looks, especially one of her flowy dresses — work on a cool day when all you need to add is a fitted blazer. Once the weather breaks pass 70 degrees — it will be no jacket required and just a chic set of sandals. GOODBYE COMFORT FOOD, HELLO SPRING TREATS NYC Ice Cream Shops

Sure, maybe ice cream is technically a summer sweet, but the cold, tasty dessert is also the perfect way to break into spring! There are so many great ice cream shops around NYC, but some of our favorites are: Ample Hills Creamery, Max & Mina’s Ice Cream, Eddie’s Sweet Shop and Sugar Hill Creamery. First Day of Spring at Rita’s Multiple Locations

Every year, the iconic ice and custard shop celebrates the first day of spring with free Italian Ice! On March 19, kick off the first day of spring by bringing your family to Rita’s. Choose from delicious flavors as you take part in this Rita’s Tradition that has a long history of over 25 years. Keep in mind, the line may be long, but free icee treats are definitely worth it. PRINT. 653 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10036

A top date night spot, PRINT. is one of the country’s leading restaurants dedicated to seasonal, sustainable cuisine. With farm fresh ingredients during the growing season and organic and traceable products during the winter, PRINT. totally gives off spring vibes. PRINT. even employs an in-house forager as

Not only a farm-fresh restaurant, The Farm on Adderley also has amazing community partners that make us smile. The Sweet Givings program raises money for charities, outreach programs and other great causes, such as the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital in February in response to the tragic bushfires in Australia. You can even drop off your natural corks, because the restaurant partners with ReCork for natural cork recycling. The art on the walls makes for a gorgeous scenery as you dine, and the menu features healthy, delicious options, including roasted rainbow trout, farm burgers, brunch selections, smaller plates and seasonal cocktails. Bonus points: there’s a kids menu! Tacocina 25 River Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Sure, Tacocina may be open year-round, but nobody likes to enjoy their taco outside during the chilly winter months. Get into the spring spirit with Tacocina’s outdoor seating, featuring a view of the Williamsburg waterfront. The Tacocina team presses its own tortillas to-order, using a heritage breed of corn from coastal Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Enjoy creative and classic flavors, chips & guac or salsa, and a focused selection of Mexican beer, canned wine, tequila cocktails and soft drinks. Bring your family for a bite to eat before you conquer the Domino Park playground or elevated walkway, or enjoy the outdoor scene at Tacocina with your co-workers and friends. Post-work margaritas? Yes, please! The Harvest at Spot Dessert Bar 13th Street Marks Place, New York, NY

10003 5th Street Marks Place, New York, NY 10003 11 West 32nd Street Floor 2, New York, NY 10001 39-16 Prince Street, Flushing, Queens, NY 11354

Maybe we’re not entirely done with comfort food this spring, but with The Harvest, you get the comfort taste with a healthy look. This super sweet dessert is made of layers of berries, soft cheesecake, oreo crumbs and earl grey milk tea, served with raspberry sorbet. Healthy? Not so much, but it’s baked into a planter pot with the oreo crumbles on top to mirror dirt, complete with a mint twig sprouting out of it. This treat definitely qualifies for a spring Instagram post. Another favorite is Chocolate Forest: pistachio and apricot crumb covered choco mousse cake with chocolate filling, served with pistachio ice cream. Again, on the outside, this dessert looks like an elegant green forest, which basically cancels out all of the calories on the inside in our mind. RELAX & REJUVENATE The Happinest NYC 170 S 1st Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Interested in meditation and mindfulness sessions to get mentally prepared for the new season? The Happinest NYC offers classes for the whole family. Known for their meditation and mindfulness for kids, the studio also has programming for adults, and specifically for parents. Browse the various classes and register for a drop-in or consider securing a membership. This is a great way for you and your kids to break into spring together. Chillhouse 149 Essex St, New York, NY 10002 75 Varick St, New York, NY 10013

Chill out, kick up your feet and relax at the Chillhouse — the destination for modern self-care. Get a facial, massage, manicure/ pedicure or book a visit to the sauna. Some of our favorites are the “Mama Needs to Chill” prenatal massage therapy and the “Make Me Glow” facial. Book your service online today and get ready for a day of relaxation and rejuvenation for your body and mind. Another plus: there’s a cafe to satisfy all of your salty and sweet cravings! March 2020 | Queens Family


Volunteering With Your Family in New York City

A borough-by-borough list shows you all the best places where you can give something back


ew York City volunteering is something near and dear to all of us here at New York Family. Volunteering in NYC as a family is even better. It helps teach kids the value of what they have and why it’s important to help those who may not have as much. It also helps build strong family bonds as you work together as a family to do good. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, giving back spreads goodwill and joy to the community. In a city as large as New York, finding ways to volunteer as a family can be a little difficult. It’s the double-edged sword of New York City living. Everything is here, but that means EVERYTHING is here. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best places for New York City volunteering as a family. This borough by borough list will help you find the perfect way to give back.

39 Broadway, 10th Floor, 212-566-7855


God’s Love We Deliver - SoHo 166 Avenue of the Americas

City harvest - Midtown 6 E 32nd St., 646-412-0600

City Harvest’s farmers market-style distribution centers provide fresh produce to those in need across all five boroughs of the city. Along with other activities, they promote more food being used and less waste. City Harvest offers volunteer opportunities for both adults and youth. Ages: Contact volunteer services new York Cares - Financial District 65 Broadway, 19th Floor, 212-228-5000

New York Cares is an excellent vehicle for giving back with your family. Children ages 14 and up can join up with an adult group leader for a variety of activities, while familyfriendly projects are available for everyone to take part in, even the younger kids. Ages: All ages Food Bank for new York City - Financial District


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

This organization provides support to the underserved across New York. To help them with their many charitable endeavors, they accept volunteers of all ages. Even kids as young as 5 are welcome for the organization’s Weekend Repack to help sort donated and bulk items into specific categories. Ages: Five years old and up toys for tots - Across Manhattan 888-848-2596

One of the easiest ways to participate in New York City volunteering is to do it on your own. Parents and their children can give back together by donating toys to Toys for Tots. Take the kids and make a day of purchasing requested toys and donating them to your local Toys for Tots drop-off center. Ages: All ages

Offering a variety of ways for families to do good as a family, God’s Love We Deliver offers all manner of charitable opportunities from seasonal to year-round. Children 16 and over can help with activities like packing and serving. Those 18 and older can make meal deliveries. Meanwhile, children younger than 16 can participate in Crafting Love projects like making beaded bracelets and birthday and holiday cards. Ages: All ages new York Common Pantry - East Harlem 8 East 109th St., 917-720-9700

Giving back as a family by volunteering at New York Common Pantry is a great way to do good. This pantry depends on volunteer help to allow its continued distribution of thousands of meals yearly. Children ages 14 and up are welcome and can help with the distribution of pantry items, meal service, or

pantry item packing. Ages: 14 and up Friends of Governors Island - Financial District 10 South Street, Slip 7

Friends of Governors Island only accepts volunteers who are 18 or over, so this New York City volunteering opportunity is limited to those with grown children. It’s a wonderful way to help one of the most beautiful spots in NYC stay beautiful. Ages: 18 and over Food Bank for new York City - Financial District 39 Broadway, 10th Floor, 212-566-7855

Based in Manhattan, the Food Bank for New York City provides food and other services to those in need across the entirety of New York City. Opportunities to volunteer range from helping with stocking to customized volunteer experiences, with many opportunities for children to help. It’s the perfect outlet for giving back as a family. Ages: All ages Project happy - Lenox Hill 695 Park Avenue, Rm. 1023W

Project Happy focuses on improved physical and mental health along with improved social skills and self-confidence for New York City children and young adults with disabilities. Volunteers 13 years and up act as camp counselors, helping with a variety of programs. Ages: 13 and over Partnerships for Parks - Across Manhattan 212-360-1399

Partnerships for Parks is devoted to helping neighborhood parks thrive. A diverse network of dedicated park volunteers continues to expand, making it possible to do more to

restore and revive parks across the city. This joint program of City Parks Foundation and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation is always looking for more volunteers. Ages: All ages

the JASA is committed to empowering and embracing the elderly community of New York. Ages: All ages

Jewish Association for Services for the Aged - Garment District 247 West 37th Street, New York, 212273-5200

Another excellent resource for New York City volunteering as a family, the Carter Burden Network offers a variety of services to seniors and their families, including grocery shopping, computer training, and more. The organization accepts both adult and youth volunteers. Ages: All ages

Accepting volunteers of all ages, the JASA offers a variety of services that help improve the lives of seniors across the city. Offering everything from meals to legal services,

Carter Burden Network - Lenox Hill 415 E. 73rd St., 212-423-9665

American Red Cross - Across Manhattan 202-303-4498

The American Red Cross is always looking for more volunteers across all five boroughs, and they can use the help of almost anyone at any age. Families with kids 13 and older can help with mailings, handing out flyers, fundraising events, and more. Ages: 13 and older Grow NYC Greenmarkets - Two Bridges & Gramercy Park 100 Gold St., E 17th St &, Union Square W, 212-788-7476

Grow NYC Greenmarkets are throughout March 2020 | Queens Family


New York City where families can donate their gently used clothing, shoes, and textiles. Practice giving back as a family by going through closets and donating items that you and your kids never use. Ages: All ages Brooklyn Citymeals on-Wheels - Murray Hill 355 Lexington Ave., 212-687-1234

Providing food and company to housebound elderly across New York City, Citymeal ON-Wheels is a volunteer group accepting volunteers of all ages to help hand-deliver meals. Ages: All ages Gallop nyC - Forest Hills 88-03 70th Road, 646-233-4507

If your children are 16 and over, and you love horses, Gallop NYC is an excellent opportunity for Volunteering in New York City as a family. This group offers therapeutic horseback riding to children and adults with developmental, emotional, social, and physical challenges. Volunteers can help in a variety of ways, and training is provided. Ages: 16 and over Greenpoint Church Hunger Program Greenpoint 136 Milton St.

The Greenpoint hunger program is dedicated to providing food to those in need through their soup kitchen and food pantry. They accept volunteers of all ages so giving back together is easy and rewarding for families. Ages: 14 and up Partnerships for Parks - Across Brooklyn 830 Fifth Ave., 212-360-1399

Partnerships for Parks is a city-wide initiative aimed at restoring and maintaining neighborhood parks so everyone can have green spaces to enjoy. Ages: All ages Second Chance Saturdays - Park Slope 95 Prospect Park West, 718-965-8951

Hosted at Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, Second Chance Saturdays is a great opportunity for giving back together with your kids. Have them clean out their closets while you do the same, and then donate your gently used clothing to help those in need. Ages: All ages


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

QueenS Citymeals on-Wheels - Across Queens 212-687-1234

Citymeals On-Wheels provides food and companionship to New York City’s elderly. The organization is a great one for giving back because they accept volunteers of all ages. Ages: All ages Grow nyC Greenmarkets - Wallabout Washington Park &, Dekalb Ave., 212788-7900

Grow NYC Greenmarkets are throughout New York City where families can donate their gently used clothing, shoes, and textiles. Practice giving back as a family by going through closets and donating items that you and your kids never use. Ages: All ages Partnerships for Parks - Across Queens 212-360-1399

Partnerships for Parks is a city-wide initiative aimed at restoring and maintaining neighborhood parks so everyone can have green spaces to enjoy. Ages: All ages Queens Botanical Garden - Flushing 43-50 Main Street, 718-886-3800

Queens Botanical Garden makes giving back as a family easy. Their routine volunteer opportunities are made to accommodate ages ranging from 14 to adults, while younger children can help out at seasonal community

days if they’re accompanied by an adult. Opportunities range from planting to office work. Ages: All ages Gallop nyC - Forest Hills 88-03 70th Road, 646-233-4507

As previously mentioned, Gallop NYC offers a variety of opportunities for New York City volunteering for people 16 and up. That service is focused on helping people with physical, mental, and emotional developmental roadblocks. Ages: 16 and up Salvation Army - Across Queens 280 Riverdale Ave., 718-345-7050

Giving back as a family is as easy as literally giving as a family. Go through your closets at home — with the kids’ help — and find any clothing or other items you don’t use and donate to the Salvation Army. Ages: All ages

So Many opportunities for new york City Volunteering As a Family All it takes is a click or a phone call to start teaching your kids the importance of giving back. Most of the organizations we just listed accept children of various ages, so it should be easy to find a way for New York City volunteering that fits your family. It’s better to give than to receive so use this list to help you find the joy of giving back as a family!

Come to a New York Family Camp Fair to Get Organized • Daycare and Childcare • A Patchwork of Summer Activities • School and Education Programs

Sunday, March 8th 12 – 3PM The Plaxall Gallery 5-25 46th Avenue Queens, NY 11101

Sunday, March 29th 12 – 3PM Cradle of Aviation Museum Charles Lindbergh Boulevard Garden City, NY 11530

Sponsored by


NewYorkFamily.com/camp-fairs/registration March 2020 | Queens Family



The Jodie Patterson

The writer and activist speaks candidly about parenting, diversity, and learning to adapt By Hester ABA


odie Patterson is a writer and activist, raising five children in New York City. Jodie’s memoir, The Bold World, which recently came out in paperback, lovingly and unflinchingly discusses her childhood and her own experience of being parented, as preparation for the challenges she has faced as a parent herself. Jodie’s awakening as an activist grew from the experience of one of her children identifying as transgender: her son, Penelope. We talked to Jodie about her fascinating life, and her tips for parents facing unforeseeable and unique challenges. We loved reading your memoir, The Bold World. One of the main lessons your parents imparted is “to think in numbers” when it comes to the experience of being Black. What does that mean to you? As a black person, I’m often made to feel that there aren’t many of “us” out there. That I’m only one of a few. That I’m the strange minority in the room. My parents taught me differently. They taught me to think collectively, to link arms with anyone who shared a similar perspective of the world and shared the obstacles we experience as Black people. So brown folks all over the world became “Our People”. Simply because all brown people experience racism and oppression in some form. Thinking collectively made me feel powerful — even as a little girl I felt like I was part of a warrior tribe. Whenever you link yourself to lineage and to a global collective, you center yourself. I’ve tried to pas≠s that on to my children: You are the prototype. When you tell Black children, girls,


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

queer kids “you are the prototype” it’s radical — because everything else in society is telling them they don’t count. You mention that your father wanted you to be able to “flow” from one situation to another; to be comfortable with rich and poor, uptown and downtown, Black and White. How do you think we can best teach this skill to our children? Adaptability is one of the hardest skills to learn. It’s also a key element in our children’s life success. Through practice children can build an inner ability to adapt to change. At some point I had to allow my kids to enter all spaces, not just the pretty ones — sparring rings, neighborhood basketball courts, country clubs, suburban, urban and visiting rural friends. It’s important to take your children into different neighborhoods, visit friends across town, experience a meal in an environment that is very different from their own so that crossing borders become no big deal. Your oldest son was accepted into your family at age 19 as a “man-boy”. Do you have any advice for parents who might be adopting older children? Nain and I met when he was just completing high school. We were immediately drawn to each other and over time developed an unbreakable bond. It was a connection that’s hard to put into words, because it sounds so reckless maybe: You meet a kid, you invite him into your home, you become family. But the best way to describe it is that we ‘chose each other’. And because we met when he was 19, there are many elements of his life that I don’t understand and dont know. And vice

versa. We take each other as we are today and not how we wish we were. For me this is a new approach to parenting because I’m not raising him, I’m sharing life with him. You have a transgender son, Penelope, and your account of his pain as he tried to understand and express his identity is heartbreaking. How did you find the wisdom to come to a place of understanding yourself? Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, so I researched, read, investigated on the internet, went to gender conferences all over the country and sat quietly in the back and listened, joined parents in discussion groups, sat with doctors, read more books… It was a year of deep learning of the basics around gender variance. And then eventually I put all that knowledge into my pocket and I just lived, experienced and enjoyed life with my son. The deepest learning came from staying in close proximity to the very person I was trying to understand better. The books and research took me out of the dark, but the real shift came from being with Penelope. What resources would you recommend that parents of trans or gender non-conforming children tackle first as part of their 10,000 hours? The Human Rights Campaign is an enormous source of information. It’s the largest LGBT organization and has made a commitment to protect trans identifying people. Within the organization, there is a group of parents — Parents for Transgender Equality Council — that gather information, offer support, influence policy, debunk

negative stereotypes, and reshape the narrative one school, one person, one elected official at a time. They are phenomenal! I also really respect the work being done at The Ackerman Institutes Gender and Family Project. Their peer and parent groups saved my family from sadness and confusion. They also have great educators who train schools to be more gender inclusive and safe. How did you guide Penelope’s siblings through his trans status? We talk out ideas, and “Lab Out” big concepts — sometimes for hours at a time. Basically, anytime we don’t agree on big issues, we sit down and Lab it out. The rules are that whoever has the proverbial microphone gets to speak for as long as they need, you can’t interrupt and can only speak your truth. So my 13 year old scientist says, “I respect you Penelope, and I’ll always use your preferred pronouns. But I don’t believe in trans. It’s not scientifically proven. And scientifically speaking, physiologically speaking, you are a girl.” Penelope might then say, “Trans is a fact. And this is the way god has made me”. My 13 Year Old might counter that God is not proven either. They’ve been discussing both God and Gender for years and they still don’t see eye to eye. For us, the goal isn’t to agree, it is to discuss and disagree with decorum. Sometimes we discuss big ideas for so long that we become bored and the ideas become no big deal and we eventually decide to go play basketball instead. What is next for you in your activism and work? I was recently elected Chair of the Board of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. I’m very proud of the work in front of me: How do we empower parents to champion for their gender non-conforming kids? How do we help make HBCU college campuses safe and appealing to our LGBT students? How do we combat AIDS in the south and get PrEP into the hands of all people living with AIDS? How do we unite the faith community and the queer community so that we’re working together? What does LGBT acceptance look like globally? How can we elect a pro-equality president? Big questions that need strong programs and even stronger budgets… But this is the work that excites me these days!

Yumi Matsuo

Jodie’s memoir The Bold World is available wherever books are sold. To keep up with Jodie’s adventures, follow her on Instagram @ jodiepatterson. March 2020 | Queens Family


real estate

Hot ProPerties Great residences for family living in the city

By Olga UzUnOva


inding the best living space in NYC has gotten easier with these amazing properties that go the extra mile when it comes to accommodating families. Whether you are looking for a living space with a rooftop, a state of the art children’s playroom, or an apartment building located surrounded by fantastic school choices, here are 13 great properties you won’t regret checking out if you’re new to NYC or moving within the city.

Downtown Manhattan: The Broad Exchange Building Neighborhood: Financial District Address: 25 Broad Street

The Broad Exchange Building, once the largest and most prestigious office building in New York City, is now a luxury condominium that launched sales earlier this year. The Broad Exchange is a pet and child-friendly building in the busy and popular Financial District. When the weather permits, enjoy the scenic rooftop space for fun parties, the shared outdoor kitchen, and BBQs with friends and family. Kids will love the outdoor playground and enjoy the indoor playroom featuring interactive play areas, educational toys and opportunities for making art. Downtown Manhattan: 77Greenwich Neighborhood: Financial District Address: 77 Greenwich

This luxury highrise is located in the heart of FiDi and has been designed as a safe haven for families who need a cozy nest in the bustle of the city. Cloud Club on the 77th floor is a zen space designed as the ultimate retreat from the city noise with a landscaped rooftop terrace with 360-degree views. Families can enjoy the observation deck on the 42nd floor with its outdoor kitchen and BBQ grills. Kids have space to create, interact, and play in the children’s playroom with enhanced protections on the windows and other potential risk areas. 77 Greenwich is two blocks away


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

the Kent, on the Upper east side includes Camp Kent, an interactive indoor-outdoor playroom. from Battery Plaza which is perfect for family outdoor activities and walks along the Hudson river shore. Kids can enjoy the SeaGlass Carousel Amusement park and breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty. Glenwood - multiple locations (Miller Adv.) www.glenwoodnyc.com

Make use of your uptown or downtown Glenwood building’s amenity spaces. Each location provides a family-friendly environment perfect for growing families. Depending on location, Glenwood buildings offer playrooms, pools, and gyms which cater to the busy New York family. Downtown rush, Midtown entertainment, or Upper Manhattan family environment take your pick, and Glenwood’s various portfolio of upscale apartment options will satisfy your needs. Brooklyn: One Clinton Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights Address: One Clinton St


One Clinton is an architectural beauty at the center of historic Brooklyn Heights. With direct access to Cadman Plaza Park, Whitman Park and a 10 min walk from the DUMBO area, this apartment building is perfect for families. Amenities include a sky lounge with full entertaining kitchen, bar, and terrace, children’s center with indoor and outdoor active play areas and a screening room. A state-of-the-art branch of the Brooklyn Public Library will anchor the ground floor of One Clinton and presents a unique facility for book-lover residents. Manhattan: The Hayworth Neighborhood: Upper East Side Address: 1289 Lexington Ave thehayworthnyc.com

In The Hayworth, you can find both your family home and a center for the community. The world-class 92Y, in partnership with the Hayworth, will provide your children with music, acting, and drawing classes in

the cheerful children’s room. Apartments’ interiors are designed by Lee Mindel of SheltonMindel. Each residence features an expansive gallery wall and has loft-like proportions with grand windows that let all the sunshine in your home. If you decide to eat out there are plenty of options nearby starting with Dig Inn right next door. The subway is a few steps away (4, 5 and 6 lines) and the local Whole Foods is a five minute walk away. Manhattan: The Belnord Neighborhood: Upper West Side Address: 225 W. 86th St thebelnord.com/

The clean and modern Belnord stands out amongst its limestone sisters on the UWS. Extensive views over the courtyard, the cityscape, and the sky will inspire you every day. The Belnord occupies a prime location near some of the best schools and leisure areasRiverdale park is two blocks away as Central Park is 10 minutes walk. On the south corner of the building is the subway stop for 1 and 2 express trains. Local gourmet restaurants The Mermaid Inn and Talia’s Steakhouse will be great for your special occasions and the AMC 84th Street theater is a nearby option for an afternoon movie day with the family. Roosevelt Island: The Octagon Neighborhood: Roosevelt Island Address: 888 Main Street octagonnyc.com

The Octagon on Roosevelt Island is just ten minutes away from Manhattan, and offers magical views over the skyline of the city. With a freshly renovated fitness center, yoga room, entertainment center, and pool, your family will be spoiled for choice for activities. Other family-friendly facilities include a playroom, waterfront playground and a daycare center. The Octagon also offers a free shuttle bus service to local public transport to allow you to easily get to work and play!

(Top) Incredible views at 77 Greenwich in the Financial District. (Above) A spacious layout at 45-45 Center Boulevard in Long Island City.

Long Island City: Corte Neighborhood: Long Island City Address: 21-30 44th Drive www.cortenyc.com

of the city and is great for family gatherings and weekend outdoor activities. Helpful additional features include a fully equipped gym, resident’s lounge, and parking.

The residences of CORTE offer a sanctuary in vibrant Long Island City. Corte’s supercool and modern architecture makes a real statement, and you’ll love the floor-to-ceiling windows in each unit. Great family amenities include stroller storage, a playroom, and the landscaped communal roof deck. The grassy open terrasse boasts amazing views

Long Island City: 4545 Center Boulevard Neighborhood: Long Island City Address: 4545 Center Blvd tfc.com/residential/4545-center-blvd/ new-york-luxury-no-fee-apartmentsand-retail-spaces

4545 Center Boulevard is nestled on the Long Island City waterfront with iconic sights of Downtown Manhattan. 4545 Center Boulevard is close to Gantry Plaza State Park, surrounded by 12 acres of green space, the Queens West Sports Field, an outdoor sports park, and nearby schools- 1st Ward School, Saint Marys, and The Riverview School. With multiple public transportation options like the MTA, LIRR, and NY Waterway, 4545 Center Boulevard offers the best of suburban living, in the heart of the city. March 2020 | Queens Family


family fun

The Best hIkIng Spots in NYC Get active and embrace the great outdoors with a family hike By Mia SalaS


s the weather gets (slightly) warmer, it’s time to get back in touch with nature. Get active and embrace the great outdoors with a family hike. You don’t have to leave New York City to conquer nature’s trails. NYC is home to some of the oldest, historically-rich and breathtaking sights, including the Alley Pond Giant, a tulip tree that is estimated to be between 350 and 450 years old! Check out our guide to the best hiking spots in New York City for hikers of all ages and experience levels. Manhattan Inwood hill Park

The hiking trails at Inwood Hill Park are rich with history and nature. The marked scenic sites or historic highlights trail will lead you to the top of the hill, where the park’s oldest trees — two Cottonwoods planted before the park was established — still live. Take a step back in time on this hike as you imagine Manhattan as a forest grove of tulip trees, oaks and maples. One of our favorite spots along the trails is the glacial potholes, which were created by an eddy in the waters of the stream flowing beneath the melting ice of the Wisconsin glacier about 50,000 years ago! There’s also an overlook that has the most beautiful view of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades. And don’t miss out on Manhattan’s last salt marsh, home to a variety of animals. Central Park

With secluded and peaceful areas to really get in touch with nature, Central Park satisfies all of your hiking needs. The 40-acre North Woods has winding paths for you to wander along as you birdwatch, gaze over the waters of the Loch, and look up at the soaring treetops above you. The Ramble is a 36-acre woodland retreat that features meandering pathways, quiet covers, and rich forest gardens. Over 230 bird species have also been spotted here, making it a favorite area for birders. Take a rest at the Summerhouse in the Ramble, providing shade from the sun and rows of benches. The Summerhouse has been renovated over the years, but the rustic structure still includes its original 19th


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

century posts. The smallest of Central Park’s three woodland landscapes, Hallett Nature Sanctuary offers rustic trails, a world of wildlife, and views of the Pond and lower park.

The point lookout is also beautiful, featuring a large, sandy beach with views of White Island, Manhattan and the adjacent Belt Parkway overpass and beyond that to Jamaica Bay. Stop by the Salt Marsh Nature Center for a bit of history, a look at shore birds and turtles, and free nature programs hosted by the Urban Park Rangers.

Brooklyn Canarsie Park

Paerdegat Basin Park

A walk through Canarsie Park’s trails takes you past the active athletic fields and cricket pitches to an unparalleled natural shoreline vista. Head out on the trails of this large park to discover its wetlands, hike along a spur to find a quiet shoreline, and take in the views of Jamaica Bay and the Manhattan skyline. If you’re looking for a low-stress trail that’s a bit shorter for kiddos who aren’t crazy about a 5-mile hike, Canarsie Park is for you. The Blue Loop trail is only about a half-mile long and you’ll get to see iconic views along the way.

Paerdegat Basin Park’s upland coastal forest is a haven for wildlife and perfect for birding on the trail. Be sure to make your way to the viewpoint on the blue trail for a beautiful view of the waterfront. Both the Red and Blue trails are about 0.3 miles, making for an easy, yet incredibly scenic hike. The red trail is an easily accessible hike of mostly flat sandy terrain that is ideal for hiking along the wetland border passing black cherry trees. Queens alley Pond Park

Prospect Park

It’s no surprise that this classic Brooklyn park has some of the best hiking trails in the borough. All of the trails in Prospect Park are considered to be easy, so bring your whole family along for the hike. Bonus points: bathrooms, café and trail guides are available at the Prospect Park Audubon Center. On the Lullwater trail, you’ll get to see how nature thrives in the heart of Brooklyn as you catch views of birds and other wildlife. The Midwood trail is a scenic walk through Brooklyn’s oldest remaining forest. The thirty-minute hike loops from Prospect Park’s Audubon Center through a forest filled with birds and other animals where you’ll see some of the park’s largest trees. The half-mile Peninsula trail is a home for wildlife and great fishing. Finally, the Waterfall trail has a unique experience in store for your family as you trace the source of the lake. The Fallkill Falls is the first of six waterfalls that you will see along the Park’s watercourse. Marine Park

As the largest park in Brooklyn, Marine Park is a prime destination for hiking. Head out on one of the park’s nature trails and discover Brooklyn’s natural beauty at this waterfront park. We love the grassland lookout, which offers a 360-degree view of the restores grasslands on the eastern side of the park.

There are lots of hiking trails in Alley Pond Park. Stop by the Alley Pond Environmental Center, home to a non-profit environmental education organization that is dedicated to educating children and adults in the New York metropolitan area, to check out the programming before or after your hike. The Alley Pond Giant, the tulip tree that is 133.8 tall and has a circumference of 18.6 feet, is a must-see. Estimated to be between 350 and 450 years of age, the tree may be the tallest and the oldest living organism in the city. Alley Pond is another favorite stop along the trails, featuring hundreds of native species, and so is the Turtle Pond, which has lots of wildlife for you to discover. Bayswater Park

The Bayswater Park Blue trail is roughly a quarter-mile long and passes along the shoreline of Jamaica Bay, linking the park to a trail in adjacent parkland managed by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation. With awesome spots for bird watching, a mix of sandy, grassy and woody areas, a maritime forest and views of the shoreline, Bayswater Park offers a hiking experience like no other. Forest Park

Forest Park offers three trails, each distinctively different to accommodate everyone from

the beginner hiker to the more experienced hiker. The Yellow trail is just about one mile, the Blue trail is 1.7 miles and the Orange trail is a 2.4-mile adventure. The Orange trail is definitely more difficult with challenging elements along the perimeter of the forest. The Blue trail is perfect for hikers that are ready to take it to the next level, but families with lots of energy will also be fine walking through the native hardwood, oak-hickory forest and kettle ponds. Never hiked before? Try out the Yellow trail for maximum fun and ease!

Through generous funding from the Recreational Trails Program grant, GreenerNYC, and Con-Ed, various volunteer groups installed paving stones and wooden puncheons for travel through the wetland areas on the west side of the lake near the Grand Central Parkway. The Flushing Meadows Bird Blind is a bird watcher’s paradise, and there’s a scenic viewpoint on the south-western edge of the lake just west of the bridge on the Pat Dolan Trail that offers a quiet respite on the west side of the lake and additional bird and wildlife viewing.

Cunningham Park

You’ll get a kick out of the gorgeous forest in Cunningham Park that features a diverse ecosystem to support abundant wildlife. The park’s Kettle Ponds feature the sounds of Spring Peepers and other species of frogs throughout the spring and summer season, so bookmark these hiking trails for your summer outings. The South Preserve trail is about 3 miles long, so keep in mind that very little ones may not be up for the distance. This is the perfect hike for a date or if you have bigger kids who are up for the challenge. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

The Willow Lake hiking trails in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park are a breathtaking sight. The main trail runs along the south side of the lake and over a wooden bridge.

The Bronx Bronx Park

The Bronx River Forest trails offer a break from the busy Bronx nearby. Walk through a floodplain forest on the banks of the restored Bronx River, and marvel at how clean and natural this once-polluted river has become. See native plant and animal life, and look out over the man-made Bronx River Island right in the heart of the borough, mere steps from grounds of the New York Botanical Garden. We love the Island Lookout, where you can see the Bronx River Island, a man-made island that was constructed in the mid-1900s to accommodate the Bronx River Parkway. The Burke Bridge is also a must. Built in 1949, the 45-feet long bridge spans the river, where you can spot many forest birds.

Van Cortlandt Park

Van Cortlandt Park offers trails that range from easy to difficult, perfect for hikers of all experience levels. Easy trails include the Putnam trail at 1.5 miles, a historically significant path that used to be the former railroad route that ran through the park in the 1980s and the John Kieran trail at 1.25 miles, which journeys through the park’s lake area and freshwater wetlands, passing Tibbet’s Brook via a wooden bridge perfect for birding, and forms a loop with the Parade Ground. Moderate trails are the John Muir trail at 1.5 miles, where you’ll travel through three ecologically distinct forests and see a frog-filled marsh and sugar maple, hickory trees, tulip and red oak trees, and the Old Croton Aqueduct trail at 1.1 miles, which is actually rated easy/moderate. Ready for a challenge? Conquer the Cass Gallagher trail, rated moderate/difficult. Pelham Bay Park

Leave the city far behind on the Kazimiroff Nature Trail, which provides self-guided long and short loop paths around 189-acre Hunter Island. Leading visitors along the island’s wetland border, through its interior forest, and onto the shore of the beautiful Orchard Beach, Pelham Bay Park offers some of the most unique and spectacular sights for your family. March 2020 | Queens Family


family fun







Great Kid-Friendly March Events in Queens By mia salas

CELEBRATE DR. SUESS’ BIRTHDAY! March 2 Do your little ones love green eggs and ham? If so, head to the library to celebrate the iconic creator of green eggs and ham (among many more imaginative inventions — including new words!). Learn about Dr. Suess, read one of his stories and do a fun craft with your family. Free, 4-5 pm. Peninsula Library, 92-25 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Beach, NY 11693, queenslibrary.org

ART FOR FAMILIES | DEFIANT ART: BREAK THE RULES March 7 Bring your family to engage in discussions about art as you work together to make your own masterpieces. Designed for kids ages 5 to 11 and their parents, Art for Families will introduce you to new techniques and artistic styles, all while having a fun time with your loved ones. $10 for families with up to 4 members, free for members of Cool Culture and Museum members at the Family level or above, reservations required, 10:30 am-12:30 pm. The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, 9-01 33rd Road at Vernon Boulevard, Long Island

City, Queens, NY 11106, noguchi.org

NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL 2020 March 7-8 Head to the Museum to celebrate the New York International Children’s Film Festival! Presenting the best new animation, live action, documentary and experimental film from across the globe, NYICFF invites audiences to watch, laugh, create and explore. Screenings at the Museum include Shorts for Tots for ages 3 to 6, such as The Snail and the Whale, and Short Films for ages 5 to 19, such as The Kite. $15, $9 Kids ages 3-17, Free or discounted for members, 11 am Shorts for Tots and 12:30 pm Short Films for both days. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Ave. at 37th Street, Astoria, Queens, NY 11106, movingimage.us

TRINITY IRISH DANCE COMPANY March 7-8 Trinity Irish Dance Company welcomes your family to their pre- St. Patty’s Day performance, featuring an inventive style of progressive Irish dance. The Company has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “Oprah,” “The Tonight Show,” and more! Your family will get a kick out of their lightning-fast agility, grace and power. Ticket prices vary, 2 pm and 8 pm on March 7, 3 pm on March 8. Queens Theater, 14 United Nations Avenue South, Corona, Queens, NY 11368, queenstheatre.org


Katherine Abbott

Kids and parents can create art at the Noguchi Museum on March 7.


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

March 8 Direct from Off-Broadway, the critically acclaimed production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show will make its way over to the heart of Queens. Featuring Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and incorporating 10 Little Rubber Ducks and The Very Lonely Firefly, the performance combines four well-loved children’s books onto one stage, telling their stories with 75 puppets! Colden Auditorium, 153-49 Reeves Ave., Flushing, Queens, NY 11367, kupferbergcenter. org

BUBBLE WRAP CRAFT March 12 It’s a known fact that kids love bubble wrap, and let’s admit it, so do adults. Did you know that you can make a paper plate snake or cardboard tube tree using bubble wrap? Learn how to turn bubble wrap into fun creations in this workshop. Bring some bubble wrap if you can! Free, 4:30-5:30 pm. Poppenhusen Library, 121-23 14 Ave., College Point, Queens, NY 11356, queenslibrary.org

STOP ‘N’ SWAP March 14 Join the Farm for this fun community reuse event with GrowNYC! Bring clean, reusable, portable items such as clothing, housewares, games, books and toys that you no longer need, and take home something new. You don’t have to bring something to take a new item home. Have a shopping-filled, fun afternoon with your family, neighbors and Queens community. Free, 12-3 pm. Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy., Floral Park, New York, NY 11004-1129, queensfarm.org

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR BY MERMAID THEATRE OF NOVA SCOTIA March 15 Your kids will love seeing some of their favorite stories come to life on stage! Mermaid Theatre uses puppetry and on-stage magic to present The Mixed-Up Chameleon, The Very Hungry

Caterpillar, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? The 4:15 pm performance is in Mandarin. $14, $10 Members, $8 Kids, $6 Member Kids, Free for teens, 2:15 pm and 4:15 pm. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing, Queens, NY 11354, flushingtownhall.org

Learn about plants and dig in the dirt at the Children’s Garden Family Day at the Queens Botanical Garden on March 21.

BRAIN DAY March 20 As part of NYC Brain Awareness Week, scientists and NYSCI Explainers describe the brain’s different parts, demonstrate how it allows us to sense our environment and control our muscles, and discover similarities between human and animal cognition. Recommended for ages 4 and up, there will be hands-on activities, exhibits and educational fun for all ages! Free with NYSCI admission, 2-4:30 pm. New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St., Corona, Queens, NY 11368, nysci.org

CHILDREN’S GARDEN FAMILY DAY March 21 Get your hands dirty with planting activities and garden crafts. See how worms wiggle, touch and discover the QBG plant collection, create your own tasty and healthy trail mix, plant your own seedling in the Children’s Garden and embark on a garden-wide scavenger hunt. You can even check out the garden and nature programs available for your kids ages 2 to 14. Free, 1-4 pm, drop-in. Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing, Queens, NY 11355, queensbotanical.org March 2020 | Queens Family


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Featured event

Events Around the City By Mia Salas

PIZZA PERFECTION CLASS March 3 Bring your little chefs to the Kitchen to learn how to make worldfamous mini pizzas. Master the perfect dough with yeast, whole wheat and honey, then move onto the yummy tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese and oregano. This family class is for kids ages 2 to 5, making it a great (and delicious!) activity for your real little ones. $45 per kid with one caregiver, 1:30-2:30 pm. Taste Buds Kitchen, 109 West 27th St., New York, NY 10001, tastebudskitchen.com

MasterChef Junior Live! March 13 The culinary hit TV show MasterChef Junior is taking the stage in Brooklyn! The family-friendly show will feature head-to-head cooking demonstrations, challenges with past

MasterChef Junior contestants and an overall immersive audience experience, fun for all ages. Tickets start at $29.50, 6 pm, doors open at 5 pm. Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11226, kingstheatre.com

WOMEN IN TRANSIT March 5-29 As March is Women’s History Month, head to the New York Transit Museum to celebrate Women in Transit! There are three programs for kids: Transit Tots for ages 2 to 5, History on Wheels for all ages, and the Discovery Room for ages 2 to 5. Hear transitthemed stories, make discoveries, learn fun facts, and explore transit-themed stations through play. Free with Museum admission, Transit Tots: Thursdays March 5-26, 10:15-11:15 am, History on Wheels: Weekends March 7-29, 11:30 am and 2 pm, Discovery Room: Weekends March 7-29, 11:30 am and 3:30 pm. New York Transit Museum, 99 Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn, NY 11201, nytransitmuseum.org

PAIGE IN FULL March 7 Get ready for a family performance that explores identity, ethnicity and culture. Paige in Full is a visual mix-tape that blends poetry, dance, visual arts, and music to tell the tale of a multicultural girl growing up in Baltimore. Before the performance,


NewYorkFamily.com | March 2020

sign up for an interactive hip hop workshop that will get you moving and grooving! Performance only: $14, $10 Members, $8 Kids, $6 Member Kids, Free for Teens, Performance and Workshop: $22, $15 Members, $13 Kids, $9 Member Kids, Free for Teens, 1 pm workshop, 2:15 pm performance. Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing, Queens, NY 11354, flushingtownhall.org

BUILDING SOLAR RACE CARS March 13 Head to the library to design, build and test your own mini solar-powered race car! If time allows, you’ll even get to race your car outdoors. In partnership with Solar One, NYPL Green welcomes kids and their families to this adventurous and educational workshop, in which all materials are provided and participants get to keep their solar powered cars. Free, 4 pm. Tremont Library, 1866 Washington Ave., Bronx, NY 10457, nypl. org

JUST KIDDING: SQUIRREL STOLE MY UNDERPANTS March 14 A mischievous squirrel steals Sylvie’s favorite piece of clothing when she’s hanging up her laundry in the backyard! Will Sylvie rescue her underpants and discover the magic within herself? The Gottabees’ stories reflect children’s everyday aspirations, concerns, and emotional experiences. Through wordless puppetry action and live music, your family will discover something imaginative and new. $17, $14 Members, 11 am and 2 pm. Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre, 2537 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, symphonyspace.org

STORYTIME WITH MARA BERGMAN: THE TALL MAN AND THE SMALL MOUSE March 14 He’s a tall man who likes to fix things. She’s a small mouse who likes to find things. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship? Find out at this storytime with Mara Bergman as she

reads her children’s book, The Tall Man and the Small Mouse, illustrated by Birgitta Sif. Free, 11 am-12 pm. Books Are Magic, 225 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY 11231, booksaremagic.net

TALES FROM THE SHED March 15 Chickenshed NYC returns with an encore presentation of Tales From the Shed, its interactive and inclusive show for young kids and their families. Recommended for ages 0 to 6, kids of all abilities will love hanging out with Lion Down, Preston, Blurgh and all their furry friends. With stories, songs and dancing, these relaxed performances are right up your little one’s alley! $15, 1 pm and 3 pm. Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Avenue South, Corona, Queens, NY 11368, queenstheatre.org

ARCH MADNESS March 21 In the spirit of “March Madness,” architectural features of skyscrapers will be pitted against each other and young architects will have to choose which ones will rise to the top. Designed for ages 5 and up, this family workshop will encourage creativity, imagination and outside-the-box thinking! $5 per kid, Free for members, RSVP requested, 10:30-11:45 am. The Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Place, New York, NY 10280, skyscraper.org

“Paige in Full” tells a multicultural tale at Flushing Town Hall on March 7. BRAIN AWARENESS WEEKEND DROP-IN March 21-22 Visitors of all ages can drop into the Educational Lab in the Hall of Human Origins to celebrate the wonders of the brain. Learn how the brain evolved in animals, chat with neuroscientists, participate in hands-on activities, and explore how our perception of color can change our minds and influence our actions, inspired by the new exhibition, “The Nature of Color”. Free with Museum admission, 12-5 pm. Hall of Human Origins Educational Library, American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5102, amnh.org

SWEET & SPICY POP-UP March 22 Come hungry to the Sweet & Spicy Pop-up! Choose treats from a curated selection of artisanal spice and sweet-makers. There will be everything from creatively handmade sweet toasted marshmallows and stuffed cookies, to flaming hot sauces and salsas, and freshly made woodfired spicy pepperoni pizzas, fiery empanadas, and more! Free admission, costs vary for food, 10 am-5:30 pm. Grand Bazaar NYC, 100 West 77th St., New York, NY 10024, grandbazaarnyc. org


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