New York Family - March 2021

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March 2021 established 1986


Dream Homes Near the City

Family-Friendly Things To Do in NYC This Spring

Love, Marriage and a Pandemic Advice from a relationship expert

Virtual Camp Fairs! page 51

Questions to Ask a Camp Director

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March 2021

pg. 20

pg. 12 pg. 16

pg. 46

pg. 42


Stories & columns

24 | Dental Getting your kids’ teeth back on track

6 | Editor’s Note March – Baby Steps

30 | Real Estate Dream Homes near the city

8 | Mom Hacks 5 Hacks for Busy Parents — get things done easily

40 | Love, Marriage and a Pandemic A relationship expert weighs in on keeping your marriage healthy in difficult times 42 | 30 Ideas Family-Friendly Things to Do This Spring 48 | Travel Cedar Lakes Estate, the perfect pandemic getaway or retreat in Port Jervis, NY

12 | Special Needs When the next step for your child is an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) 16 | Education The many benefits of choosing a Charter School 28| Family Fun Nine waterparks near NYC — perfect for family day out 38 | Spotlight Beth Beckman and her children’s travel book, Little Kid, Big City! New York

4 | March 2021

46 | Books All-level books for your kids’ spring reading 50 | Family Day Out KAWS, a pop artist’s solo exhibition debuts at Brooklyn Museum

Camps 20 | Camps Questions to ask a camp director amid a pandemic 51 | Virtual Summer Camp Fairs

Directories 22 | Camp Listings

on the Cover Illustration: Béatrice S. Hug



Advantage Day Camp—best day camp in NYC! • Every kind of fun imaginable, for campers 4 to 14 • Art, gym & field sports, enrichment, STEAM programs, chess & tennis • Starting 6/14, East Side only

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• Players 7 to 17 focus on tennis, up close & all summer long! • Drills, games & match play • Starting 6/14 – East Side & West Side

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• Customized by age & ability, for campers 5 to 8 • Friendly atmosphere, specialized instruction • Half days, starting 6/14 East Side, 6/14 on the West Side • Rigorous safety measures at all locations – temperature checks & more • Flexibility – chose your week or individual days with a 10, 20 or 30-pack • Convenience – early drop off & late pickup at no extra charge!

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March 2021 | New York Family


Editor’s Note Publisher: Clifford Luster Executive Editor: Donna Duarte-Ladd Digital Editor: Katarina Avendaño Senior Adviser: Susan Weiss Digital Director: Erik Bliss Partnership Managers: Erin Brof, Mary Cassidy, Shelli Goldberg-Peck Ad Operations Manager: Rosalia Bobé Art Director: Leah Mitch Web Developer: Sylvan Migdal Graphic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti

Nina Gallo Photography

Baby Steps We have been quarantining for a year. Most of us have changed how we live our lives through these challenging times, but we are getting through it! And like many of you, I have a deep appreciation for the time I have had with my family. Yet, we are all ready to get back out and enjoy the Spring that is only weeks away! Speaking of rough times, this month, we have expert advice, Love, Marriage and a Pandemic (page 40), on how to get back on track with your partner. And while COVID is still here and safety measures will be taken for some time, we can rejoice that New York City is starting

Editorial Contributors: Jana Beauchamp, Cris Pearlstein, Mia Salas Editorial Interns: Patrick Delaney, Analiese Dodd Sabrina Lee, Brooke Thompson

Contact Information

ADVERTISING: (718) 260-4554

to reopen. Take a look at our roundup of 30 Ideas and Family-Friendly Activities in NYC (page 42) to get the entire family back into the swing of things. If staying home is still your vibe and you’re looking for kids’ reading books, our roundup Spring Reads for Kids at All Reading Levels (page 46) is a must-read. Lastly, if you’re looking, wondering, wanting to do a summer camp for the kids, we have all the Questions to Ask a Camp Director Amid a Pandemic (page 20). Happy Spring and New York, we are ready for you. Donna and New York Family Media

Circulation: (718) 260-8336

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

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mom hacks

5 Hacks For Busy Parents By Donna Duarte-LaDD


arents have been doing a lot in the past year. Not that we weren’t already utilizing our mad parenting skills, but if ever there was a time to “bring it,” we have brought it with saving money on the grocery bills, helping with Zoom classes, and doing hacks to save time and money. But really it just makes sense to figure out some easy ways to do simple things in these crazy times. We love a good hack and here are five ways I have been using mom hacks this past year at work and at home.

Extend Your Favorite Jeans Waistline If your jeans are a bit tight lately, you are not alone. While I have that mom friend who looks as thin as she did before lockdown, most of us mere mortals have been indulging a bit during the quarantine. And hey, comfort food is just that; it brings comfort. But alas, your jeans are a bit tight, and while you do not quite need to size up, you do require a little room in the midsection. This trick I have used as a stylist is easy, and it works: • First, you need to commit to cutting into your favorite pair of jeans. • Next, you take a great pair of scissors, I use fabric scissors, but a sturdy pair should do the job. • Cut into the back waistline of your jean. I find that two cuts spaced about three inches apart (slit cuts) work. Do not cut into the seam line of the waistband.

8 | March 2021

• Next, take denim iron-on patches, cut in half and fold the patch over the cut area, iron on both sides and pull to make sure it is sturdy. • Give them a try on; if you need more room, try cutting another slit. And voila, you have just given your jeans a little more room. Replace the Backing of an Earring…Pronto You have finally gotten the hang of wearing a face mask with earrings and clink; one of the backings to your earring is missing, and your earring is on the floor. Here is an easy fashion emergency trick. Got a pencil? Pull out the back of the eraser and gently squeeze it into the post of the back of your earring. And there you have it, your earring now has a backing, and you can go on with your day.

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mom hacks

Protect Your Phone for Pennies A hard lesson learned from the recent snowstorms is that it is easy for your phone to get wet even if it is in your pocket. And if you have older kids, they actually roll in the snow or happily walk in the rain while they have their phone halfway out of their jacket. While you do not want to jump in a pool with this Ziplock baggie trick, a significant benefit to this trick is you can still use the touchscreen while protecting your phone for pennies!

long run. Mark an even dot with a pencil or a marker and press into the hole gently to make an indention. You will then push into the gap a bit harder to go through the hole. Use Velcro for Childproofing While there are well-made babyproofing items available out there, I have personally found that Velcro is one of the best and most affordable tools to use throughout the house for firm, uncluttered childproofing. Use on cabinets for a clean look if you aren’t into some of the baby proofing gadgets out there. Velcro is also great to use as an extra reinforcement on drawers with sharp cutlery, cabinets, trays, and picture frames — items that babies and toddlers love to get their hands on.

Hole Puncher If you often need to have extra holes in belts or straps to your bags, you may want to invest in a hole puncher. Most are under twenty dollars and are easy to use. One visit to the cobbler can be about $15, this handy tool can last years and save you money in the


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The New York Milk Bank We provide safely pasteurized donated breast milk to infants in need. To learn more ore about donating your breastmilk or how your baby can receive donor milk,, contact us at: 212-956-6455 or New York Milk Bank | 401 Columbus Avenue Valhalla, NY 10595 | The New York Milk Bank, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, licensed by the New York State Department of Health and accredited by the Human Milk Bank Association of North America (HMBANA).

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special needs

Missing Milestones When the next step for your child is an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) By Dr. Emily lEvy


ave you noticed your child struggling in school? Perhaps they are having a hard time learning to read, can’t grasp multistep math problems, or are having difficulty staying focused in class. Her self-esteem is plummeting as schoolwork becomes increasingly challenging, and her struggles seem insurmountable. Your child may have special needs and, if so, the sooner you can identify these needs and address them, the better it will be for their overall confidence and academic performance. So what can you do? Identify the problem For starters, if you see your child struggling, talk to his doctor and teacher. Discuss milestones he may or may not have met and determine if his teacher notices the same challenges you see at home. If you feel these struggles are getting worse or think he may benefit from additional accommodations at school, you might consider having him tested. This testing can be done for free either through your state’s early intervention program (if your child is under age three) or through your child’s school district. The evaluation and specific tests administered may range, but evaluators will typically test your child’s IQ and will likely also test language, motor, behavior, and achievement skills. IEP or 504 plan Depending on the evaluation results and your child’s needs, your child may qualify for either an IEP or a 504 plan. An IEP details your child’s specific goals and a plan for what your school will do to help meet those goals, including specific services, like speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and academic support. A 504 plan helps provide accommodations for support within the classroom, such as additional time on tests, an aide in the classroom, preferential seating, and/or modified homework. Typi-

12 | March 2021

cally students who have a less severe disability (like anxiety, ADHD, etc.) and not a diagnosed learning disability will receive a 504. Students who need more services, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, special education teacher support services, etc., would receive an IEP. Know your rights Federal law indicates that every child is entitled to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible. Three specific federal laws apply to children with special needs, including the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Ace, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These laws’ specifics can vary by state, so it’s important for you to understand the procedures and criteria specific to your state. IDEA stipulates that a child’s issues must fall into one of thirteen categories to be eligible for special education services. Section 504 mandates that schools cannot discriminate again students who have disabilities and are required to provide appropriate accommodations to them. Students covered under Section 504 usually have less severe disabilities or do not fall into one of the categories stipulated under IDEA. The ADA indicates that children with special needs cannot be discriminated against and must be provided appropriate services and programs suitable to their needs. If your school district refuses to provide appropriate

services to your child, you may initiate a due process hearing to challenge their decision. Focus on your child’s strengths It is easy to go into a bit of negative space when dealing with your child’s educational support. Remember to focus on your child’s strengths; they may struggle with reading and writing but may excel with math computation. Or maybe your child is incredibly social, empathetic, and ‎kind. Perhaps she is a beautiful artist, a great storyteller, or a whiz at building Legos. Praise your child for small accomplishments, like sitting next to a friend at lunch who seemed sad, drawing a beautiful flower, or creating an elaborate Lego tower. As you help your child academically with areas where he may struggle, continue to build his self-esteem, and explain that no one is perfect. We all have strengths and weaknesses, as well as areas we need to work on improving. Your special needs child can still have dreams and aspirations that can be achieved with support and guidance. Dr. Emily Levy is the founder of EBL Coaching, a tutoring program that specializes in one-onone home and on-site instruction for students in grades preK-12 in NYC, NJ, and Westchester. She is also the author of Strategies for Study Success, a study skills workbooks series emphasizing test taking, note taking, reading comprehension, writing, and executive functioning strategies, and the Flags and Stars Orton Gillingham student workbook series.

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Accepting applications now for 9th grade students for the 2021-2022 academic year

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Estamos Aceptando Solicitudes para estudiantes del noveno grado para el año escolar 2021-2022

Casa Abierta Virtual Jueves, Marzo 4, 2021 5:00pm - 6:00pm Viernes, Marzo 5, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm | Jueves, Marzo 18, 2021 5:00pm - 6:00pm Viernes, Marzo 19, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm | Jueves, Marzo 25, 2021 5:00pm - 6:00pm

*Nota: La Loteria se llevara a cabo Abril 15, 2021, para solicitudes favor de vistar la pagina web

Puede enviar su solicitud via email a Tambien Puede enviar por correo a: International Leadership Charter High School 3030 Riverdale Avenue, Bronx NY 10463 March 2021 | New York Family



The Benefits of NYC Charter Schools BY JOE PANTORNO


hroughout the course of the pandemic, many New York City students and parents have had to adjust to online learning while school doors were shut. Some parents later opted to send their child back to school buildings, masked up and ready to learn. Even though New York was able to flatten the curve initially, there still remains the question of what school will look like for the remainder of 2021 school year as the vaccine becomes available. However, it isn’t too early for parents to plan ahead for next year and beyond when school doors re-open. The school choice movement has

16 | March 2021

provided parents in New York City and across the United States with more options on where to send their children. While the only legitimate options in the past were between public, private and homeschooling, charter schools have become a viable and attractive option for a child’s education. A charter school is an independentlyoperated public school that usually operates under a contract with a government agency or non-profit organization. It allows the school to not have to follow a mandated curriculum, thus designing their classrooms and lessons to fit the individual student’s needs.

While the idea of charter schools has been met with plenty of criticism, there are overarching advantages of sending your child to such an institution: Adapting to challenges Within today’s educational landscape lies the growing challenge of properly informing, preparing, and developing students who learn and grow under different circumstances. There are four ways children can properly learn and retain the material of their coursework: visual, auditory, reading/ writing, and kinesthetic. Charter schools can provide a perfect match.



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If your child is struggling with learning disabilities that withhold them from flourishing at public or private schools, there are charter-school options. If your child is advanced and is not being challenged enough in most group settings, there are charter-school options. Specialization with no tuition Charter schools provide the best of both schooling worlds. While they are independent, they still must have licensed teachers, students must take state-mandated tests, and underperforming institutions can be closed — much like most public and private schools. But the ability to tweak the curriculum and offer specific courses that set it apart from public schooling. The best part? Parents won’t have to pay tuition as they would in private school. Charters are funded on tax dollars. They outperform public school Looking at the data, New York City charter

Within today’s educational landscape lies the growing challenge of properly informing, preparing, and developing students who learn and grow under different circumstances. Charter schools can provide a perfect match. schools are putting up better numbers than public schools. According to the New York Department of Education, public school students grades 3-8 were 47% proficient in English Language Arts (ELA) and 46% proficient in math in 2019. Per, charter schools in the city provided much higher proficiency numbers last year. ELA proficiency rates for students grades 3-8 were at 57.3% while math proficiency rates were at 63.87%. Those numbers result in more learning gains, allowing students to learn more

material in the same amount of time as public-school curriculum allows. Charter schools have plenty of support Parents’ schedules are already packed as it is. Their wallets might not be overflowing, either. The last thing they need to do is participate in fundraisers to get their public school some extra money. Charter schools don’t have that problem as they are privately funded more often than not, meaning parents won’t have to donate more of their hard-earned money to ensure their child gets a proper education.

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Questions to Ask a Camp Director Amid a Pandemic By Jess Michaels


hen considering summer camp for your child, it’s always important to ask key questions about the program and safety procedures before deciding which camp will become your child’s home away from home for years to come. Questions often range from inquiring about the session length, the swim program or how many children are in a bunk. However, amid a global pandemic, you are certain to have many questions regarding COVID this year. The good news for parents is that both day and overnight camps ran successfully last summer and were able to mitigate the risk of COVID so children could have both a safe and rewarding summer at camp. Here are some questions you might want to ask the camp director when doing your camp research this year: Can you explain what changes you are making at camp this summer to keep campers safe? If you are researching a camp now, there are many safety procedures that were put in place by camps last summer that will remain for 2021 summer, however, with the pandemic changing month to month, there are some changes that won’t be known until closer to this summer. Camps ran successfully in 2020 with safety procedures to mitigate the risk of COVID such as small group cohorts, daily health screenings, additional hand washing/sanitizing, increased sanitizing of facilities and the camp program running mostly outdoors.

20 | March 2021

Although camp looked a little different, the fundamentals of what makes camp so special for children remained the same. How can I get to know the camp before registering? Even amid the pandemic, there are many ways to see the camp and get to know the camp director. Day camps offer tours throughout the year and can do so socially distanced. Many overnight camps will offer families the opportunity to visit camp this spring as the weather warms up. Camp directors are also happy to set up Zoom calls or do an outdoor home visit in your backyard or apartment building’s courtyard. What are the procedures if a staff member or child tests positive for COVID? Based on last summer, if a camper or staff

member tests positive for COVID, the camp will report it to the local health department. If at day camp, the camp will notify the camp community and let you know if your child was exposed and needs to quarantine. Overnight camps used testing last year before campers and staff arrived at camp and then a few days after they arrived. If a test came back positive once at camp, those exposed in the cohort would quarantine and testing would be done. It’s important to note that there were very few positive cases of COVID at both day and overnight camps in the northeast. If COVID vaccines are available, will you require them for this year? It’s too soon to tell when a vaccine will be available for children and young adults. Camps will work with their local and state health departments as vaccine information

becomes available. What is your camp’s refund policy? This has become an important question that more and more people are asking of all businesses since COVID hit in spring last year. Before choosing a camp, it’s important to understand their refund policy and what date you have until to ask for your money back or to roll it over to the following year. How do you handle separation anxiety after a year of remote learning at home? A good camp director will meet your child where they are and are focused on the social-emotional well-being of every child at camp. In 2020, many children came to camp with anxiety from being home from school and not socializing with others for an extended period of time. The good news is that camp directors said it took just a few days of being at camp for children to adjust. Will you require testing before camp? Testing in 2021 is going to look different than it did in 2020. For overnight camp,

Even amid the pandemic, there are many ways to see the camp and get to know the camp director. parents can assume that some kind of testing will take place. Will my child have to wear a mask at camp? Last summer, children at day camp didn’t need to wear masks, unless social distancing couldn’t be maintained. Overnight campers wore masks when around other cohorts and also when social distancing couldn’t be maintained. It is too early to tell what the mask policy will be but one year later, however, mask-wearing has become more common place than it was last June and children have become accustomed to wearing them daily.

What kind of screening process is done at camp to make sure staff and campers are healthy? Both day and overnight camps required daily health screenings each day with questions asked about your child’s health and temperatures being taken either at home, at camp, or sometimes both. Are there activities that will be eliminated because of COVID? With COVID, certain contact sports and activities needed to be eliminated last summer. Many camps also didn’t do field trips or inter-camp games to prevent exposure to many people. It is too early to tell what activities will need to change for 2021 but camps offer dozens of activities and if a camp needs to make some changes to keep staff and campers safe, there are so many other amazing activities to participate in. Camps that ran in 2020 reported that even with some changes, it was probably the best summer they ever had because children needed camp so much after months spent at home.


Photo by Rosalie O’Connor

For more details and updates regarding New York City COVID-19 safety mandates, visit:

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March 2021 | New York Family


camps Directory | Special Advertising Supplement Advantage Camps

York, NY 10019 The Ailey School Junior Division Summer Intensive is a two-week training program for students ages 14-16. Young dancers will have the opportunity to study in a vibrant professional environment in the heart of New York City. Motivated students with at least three years of consistent training receive first class dance instruction among a student body of versatile dancers who strive for excellence.

Manhattan Upper East & West Sides & Roosevelt Island 212-935-0250 Best NYC Camps for NYC Kids! East Side & West Side, Advantage has the perfect match for your camper! Advantage Day Camp offers kids ages 4-14 a variety of sports, art, enrichment, and experiences. Plus early drop-off and late pickup at no extra charge. Advantage Junior Tennis Camp is where players 7 to 17 focus on the game, with drills, games & match play. And, for campers 5-8, there’s Advantage QuickStart Tennis Camp, with tennis customized for age, ability and fun! Two great locations – Roosevelt Island Racquet Club – easy and safe to get to by ferry, tram or subway & Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club – conveniently located on West 43rd St. Choose days, weeks or all summer. Sign up now!

Collina Italiana Language & Cultural Center Summer Camp 1556 Third Avenue, Suite 602603, New York, NY 10128 212-427-7770 Summer camp at Collina Italiana is a fun and immersive experience for kids of all language competency levels. Additionally, this year there is the added flexibility of being able to choose between in-

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person and online camp; your comfort and safety is priority! Starting June 7th, children (age 3-10) learn about all things Italian through games, music, dance, and many other educational activities. Furthermore, children all are exposed to the beauties of Italian culture through art and cinema. Kids age six and up are able to learn the fundamental skills of writing and reading, as well as the basics of Italian grammar!

Launch Math + Science Centers Two locations in Manhattan: UWS & Tribeca 212-600-1010 Launch Math + Science Centers offer exciting and educational, on-site, one-week STEM summer camps for kids from kindergarten to 7th grade (5-12 years old). Campers discover the magic of chemistry, explore the allure of faraway lands, think like detectives, animate their favorite characters – and that’s just the beginning! Camps are packed with hands-on STEM projects! Plus, there are NEW exciting camps and daily segments, like Launch Studios, where kids document camp activities, plan “How-to” videos, perform fun skits, and more. Virtual camp options also available! Register by March 31st to receive $150 off every additional camp week after the first.

Montessori International Summer Day Camp Midtown East 212-223-4630 This Summer, for children 2 – 14, we are offering “Sights and Sounds of New York City.” Centered on NYC’s worldrenowned museums and cultural destinations, children participate in field trips, art projects, academic activities and weekly barbecues. Campers will also enjoy dance, arts and crafts, musical theatre, and foreign language as well as sports such as bowling, ice skating and swimming. Since Camp is staffed by our teachers, children can also continue with academics, preparing for admission to gifted programs,

or for a head start on the upcoming year.

Oasis Summer Day Camps in Manhattan Oasis in Central Park 795 Columbus Ave. 646-698-1800 Avital Lazar Director centralpark@oasischildren. com

Oasis in Downtown-PS 110 285 Delancey St. 649-519-5058 Stacey Soto, Director Oasis Day Camp prides itself on age-appropriate programming for ages 3-15. Early Start (ages 3-5) is a nurturing camp environment. Lower (firstsecond grade) offers sports, arts, swim, enrichment, and nature. Upper (third-sixth grades) is bigger and better for older campers. Teen Travel (seventh-ninth grades) offers unique trips, overnights, and friendships.

Pilots Enrichment Program (P.E.P) Cardinal Spellman High School 1 Cardinal Spellman Place Bronx, NY 10465 718-881-8000 The Pilots Enrichment Program (P.E.P.) was designed as an enrichment program for rising 7th and 8th graders. This program has been helping students for the past 9 years on TACHS (Test for Admission to Catholic High Schools) exam strategies, art, foreign language, science, robotics, athletic enrichment, and more. The summer of 2020 continued this tradition digitally. During their time “at Spellman” they worked on traditional TACHS prep, Kitchen Chemistry, Digital Storybooks, Mapping-Out Spellman through our Virtual Tour, and much more. Their teachers took to the shift in instruction and ran with it to allow all of their PEP students to learn and have fun during July! The PEP program will continue digitally this summer from July 1st - July 23rd, with the possibility of going hybrid depending on CDC guidelines. For more information and an application, visit

big savings!

STEM Camps

multi-camp discounts early bird through 3/31


summer 2021: juniors k+1st

real world math + science... out of this world fun!

kids 2nd-5th

SMALL camp groups

• • • •

I Wanna Be... An Animator! I Wanna Be...A Detective! I Wanna Be...An Explorer! I Wanna Be...A Zookeeper!

• • • •

Coding + Animation Potent Potions + Fizzing Formulas Rocket Science: Destination Mars Remarkable Robots + Marvelous Machines

Additional Virtual + In-Home Options Available For Grades K-7th

Sign up for Launch’s exciting and educational one-week STEM summer camps with topics rotating weekly!

Also at Launch: Math Programs • STEM Classes • Holiday Camps • Private Instruction UWS + Tribeca Locations • • 212-600-1010 •

Join our summer enrichment and TACHS preparation program! The program consists of 3 weeks of remote learning that will be taught by the knowledgeable, caring and energetic staff of Cardinal Spellman High School.











Back on track How to return your family to safe and healthy dental care By LiLya Horowitz, DDS,FaGD


nother year has flown by, and if you are a parent, you have taken into account all the things that did not happen as planned in 2020. Things like family vacations and celebrations, you may not have gotten a haircut for yourself recently or gone to the gym in the last 10 months. Many of these things were probably beyond your control, and some are still not possible due to safety restrictions. However, one thing necessary that you may have neglected last year is taking care of your family’s dental health. Your oral health mirrors your overall physical health, and many times, it is your dentist that may spot or diagnose a problem before your physician. Your mouth contains evidence of inflammation, stress, sleep deprivation, gastrointestinal issues, and many more things beyond your typical achy tooth. For children, early orthodontic intervention may be the key to prevent a lifetime of sleep and breathing issues, as well as unfavorable facial and airway development. It is important to have a dentist check your teeth regularly so that we can catch minor problems before they turn into larger ones that often become much more expensive to fix. Having a plan to keep your teeth healthy with consistent care and dental visits will ensure that you have a happy, healthy smile for the rest of your life. This is why going to the dentist for you, and your family has never been more important. Is going to the dentist safe? This is a common question and concern. Dental offices have always been at the forefront of infection control and safety,

24 | March 2021

long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Since aerosols are produced from most dental procedures, most dentists have already maintained strict infection control protocols. The adjustments we have had to make due to the pandemic have been relatively easy to get used to. A study by the American Dental Association found the COVID-19 rate among dentists is less than 1%.1 Some things you may want to look for is a dental office that clean, modern and has embraced modern technology to make dental care for your family safe, convenient, and easy. Surgical grade air-filtration units, strict PPE, and social distancing protocols should also be a must when looking for a new dental home. As of January 4, 2021, dental practices of all types became eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines.2 If you have any specific concerns about a particular office and cannot get a clear picture through their website, there should be an easy way to contact that office available to address your concerns. If you

find that you are being brushed off or given unclear answers, it is probably a good idea to find an office that aligns better with your needs. Find a dentist in your neighborhood I am a big believer in supporting your local businesses, and now that many of us are working from home, it may be the perfect time to find a dentist right in your neighborhood. It is always nice to avoid taking public transportation, especially with kids in tow, and it always makes it easier to return for any follow-up visits and stay on track with regular ones. I don’t know about you, but physically picking up the phone and speaking to another human to make an appointment for something is a significant barrier in me making this appointment. For this exact reason, 24/7 online scheduling is a big plus in my book for any business I would like to use. As a mom, sometimes the only times I am thinking clearly without outside voices

Wetherby-Pembridge School For more information: • 646-213-3400 7 e aSt 96th Str eet, NeW york, Ny

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• Pre-Kindergarten 3 year old – Grade 8 program • Ranking in the top 10% of all schools in NYS on the English Language Arts and Math state exams • Graduates attend competitive Archdiocesan, specialized public, and private high schools • Scholarships available for the 2021-2022 school year • Free breakfast, lunch, and after school snack available to all students • Early drop-off, after-school, and 30+ enrichment programs available • Air-conditioned classrooms, fully-equipped science labs, multimedia library, art studio, playroom, gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria, outdoor recess • 1:1 Chromebooks in Grades K - 8, iPads, interactive whiteboards, integrated technology curriculum, coding, robotics, blended learning • Art, music, instrumental band, physical education, CYO, theater • Easily accessible via the 4 / 5 / 6 / Q trains, M86 / M31 / M15 buses; free school bus available

St. Joseph’s School – Yorkville is a culturally diverse, Christian community where each child is known and joyful learning is valued. We nurture the whole child by providing a rigorous academic education, while also fostering social-emotional growth and character development.

Parent Tour Dates: March 2, 10, 18, 23, 30 April 15, 21, 27, 28 May 4, 11, 19

Register for a virtual information session by calling 212-289-3057 or emailing Peggy Sullivan at Visit us at � St. Joseph's School, Yorkville �@StJoeYorkville � st.josephsschoolyorkville

March 2021 | New York Family



Your oral health mirrors your overall physical health, and many times, it is your dentist that may spot or diagnose a problem before your physician. or an avalanche of thoughts may be at 9 pm after the kids go to sleep (or maybe 5 am), but it’s definitely never at a time when I would realistically expect an actual person to answer the phone. It also can allow you to reschedule that appointment to accommodate any changes easily. There have been some changes in protocols at the dentist, and you may have some questions. You may want to get those questions answered in advance. You may also want to be able to have your new patient paperwork completed before and have any dental insurance verified before you bring the entire family. Finding an office that implements virtual consultations, paperless online forms, and is staffed with a great patient care coordinator to walk you through the process is important for a smooth and seamless visit. Find an office that can care for the whole family As a parent, I find it much easier for me to use the same healthcare provider for everyone in the household for routine visits. This is why you may want to take advantage of seeing a family dentist that sees children and adults. Pediatric dentists do cater exclusively to the younger patient population it is up to you to decide what will work the best for you and kiddos. Family dental offices like ours offer safe family visits, where you can book all your appointments back to back and feel comfortable knowing that at the time of your

26 | March 2021

Dentist Lilya Horowitz in her Brooklyn office. visit, your family will be the only patients we have in the entire office. There are televisions on the ceiling with wireless noise-canceling headphones to entertain and distract both children and adults, as well as age-specific snacks and goodie bags to take with you when you leave. Modern practices work with you to verify all insurance and new patient paperwork and answer any questions about your visit virtually so that from the moment you arrive, you will be led straight to the treatment room with no time in the waiting area. We welcome parents to come into the office with their children at the time of their appointments if this makes you and your children feel more comfortable. After your visit, knowing that offices offer touchless payment solutions and can answer any follow up questions that you may have via text and email to avoid any extra phone time creates additional peace of mind. Life as a parent in NYC is not easy, and

keeping your family’s dental health in check should be simple. Getting everyone in your family back on track with their dental health is a must for beautiful and healthy smiles in 2021. Dr. Lilya Horowitz opened Williamsburg-based dental boutique Domino Dental in September 2019. As a Brooklyn native, Dr. Lilya values the importance of having great dental care at the fingertips of New Yorkers and offers comprehensive dental care for the whole family. Dr. Lilya is in the top 6% of general dentists in the country. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Rochester and completed her advanced dental degree at New York University’s College of Dentistry. She started her career working at other dental practices in Manhattan and now designs dream smiles at Domino Dental. RefeRences 1. ADA study finds cOVID-19 rate among dentists less than 1% 2. Governor cuomo Updates new Yorkers Vaccination efforts Across new York


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March 2021 | New York Family


family fun

Where to Make a Splash this Winter These nine indoor waterparks near New York City are perfect family getaways for dull days By Brooke Thompson


ndoor waterparks can be enjoyed all year long and provide the perfect escape for winter weather. If you and your family are looking for a little bit of an adventure or want to take a break from the cold, check out these nine, indoor waterparks near New York City. 1. Dream Works Water Park – East Rutherford, NJ: 40 minutes 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073

The Dream Works Water Park is an indoor waterpark located in the American Dream Mall. This isn’t your average indoor waterpark. The world’s largest wave pool resides here, complete with six-foot waves. For the thrill seekers, the park has some exciting park slides and, for those who want to relax, they have a lazy river, a splash area, and even some hot tubs. Rain or shine, your

28 | March 2021

children will enjoy splashing around in this slice of paradise. 2. Great Wolf Lodge – Scotrun, PA: 1 hr and 30 minutes 1 Great Wolf Dr, Scotrun, PA 18355

The Great Wolf Lodge offers spectacular attractions that will bring smiles to the whole family. Spend the day racing down slides, coast around the park in the lazy river, jump waves in the wave pool, and so much more. When you are finished with the waterpark, the lodge offers other attractions, such as games, dining, shopping, and more. 3. Aquatopia Indoor Water Park at Camelback Mountain Resort – Tannersville, PA: 1 hr and 45 minutes 193 Resort Dr, Tannersville, PA 18372

While known for its skiing and snow tubing, Camelback Mountain Resort is well-known for Aquatopia — the #1 indoor waterpark in

the United States. Choose from 13 different slides that will quench your family’s thirst for thrills, enjoy the poolside shops and swim-up bars, and bask in the sun underneath PA’s largest texlon roof. Aquatopia is the perfect escape from the cold, winter weather. 4. Kalahari Resorts – Poconos, PA: 1 hour and 45 minutes 250 Kalahari Blvd, Pocono Manor, PA 18349

If you’re looking for a family getaway, Kalahari Resorts should definitely be an option. The resort’s indoor waterpark has water slides that accommodate all levels of thrill seekers, water play areas for the kids, and even hot tub spas for the adults. Whenever you’re done with the waterpark, the resort offers other enjoyable attractions, such as an arcade, bowling, spas, and a variety of dining options to appease even the pickiest eaters.

5. H20ooohh! at the Split Rock Resort – Lake Harmony, PA: 2 hours 428 Moseywood Rd, Lake Harmony, PA 18624

Located in the Split Rock Resort, H20ooohh! is the perfect indoor waterpark for your family to enjoy a day trip or a weekend getaway. Choose from three of their fourstory slides, jumping waves in the wave pool, surfing in their Flow Rider attraction, splashing around in the activity pool, and so much more! And if you ever get hungry, there is a snack shack nearby. 6. Eldorado Hot Springs at the Rocking Horse Ranch – Highland, NY: 2 hours 600 US-44, Highland, NY 12528

Wondering where to go for your next family adventure? Check out the Rocking Horse Ranch! Their Eldorado Hot Springs indoor waterpark is the perfect escape for a wintry day in a place that stays 98 degrees all yearround. Your family will enjoy racing down water slides, splashing in the water play areas, keeping their balance on the water walk, and relaxing in their hot tubs. This all-inclusive

resort offers other fun activities to do as well, such as spas, an arcade, horseback riding, skiing, and so much more. 7. Woodloch Resort : 2 hours and 30 minutes 731 Welcome Lake Rd, Lackawaxen Twp, PA 18435

If you’re looking for another family getaway, check out the Woodloch Resort. Their indoor waterpark has what you need to enjoy a few hours out of the cold. Race down thrilling slides — including their “double corkscrew” super slide, splash around in the splash pad, warm up in their hot tubs, or swim laps in their indoor pool. Be sure to check out their other activities, like their dining options, skiing, and the spa. 8. Cascades Indoor Waterpark at Greek Peak Resort – 3 hours and 45 minutes 2000 NY-392, Cortland, NY 13045

Come visit Greek Peak Resort. With a variety of activities offered by the resort, your family will have a blast. If you want to take a break from the winter weather, check out their Cas-

cades Indoor Waterpark. While their slides, hot tubs, and splash features are closed, their wave pool, indoor pool, and kiddie pool are still open. Enjoy this 84-degree paradise as you and your family splash around in the pool or jump waves in the wave pool. When you are finished at the waterpark, check out their other attractions, such as skiing, snow tubing, the spa, and various dining options. 9. Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark – Queensbury, NY: 3 hours and 45 minutes 89 Six Flags Drive, Queensbury, NY 12804

Enjoy amazing 82-degree weather at their recently reopened indoor waterpark. While some of the park’s features are still closed, your family will stay have a blast coasting along their lazy river Tak-It-Eesi-Creek and splashing around at Tip-A-Kanu-Beach. When you are finished at the waterpark, check out their other attractions, such as skiing, dining, and shopping.

COME OUT AND PLAY! Children need to play, and Yorkville is ready to make that happen.

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Join us this spring and let your child play again. Whether in Central Park or out on Randall’s Island, Yorkville provides a safe and fun experience for all children. Yorkville offers outdoor Baseball Flag Football Golf Hockey Lacrosse Soccer Track

Let’s go outside!

Sports for All! March 2021 | New York Family


Real estate

Dream Homes

Family-friendly real estate round-up By Donna Duarte-LaDD & Mia SaLaS


s house hunting your passion or go-to pastime? We get it; the Real Estate section is oh-so-addicting with their gorgeous homes that never fail to distract us for hours. But maybe those oh-so-many hours don’t have to go to waste, because it’s finally the time that you’re looking to buy a new home for your family. What’s great about New York is that each town in and near feels unique and community-driven. With the added benefit of having an easy commute into the city, a neighborhood will feel right for your family, where you can settle down or upgrade your space to accommodate your growing brood. Whether you’re still window shopping or seriously house hunting, we’ve got our top picks for New York homes. Learn all about the property and its surrounding town, and be sure to bookmark your faves as you go!

Stamford, Ct 68 Saddle Rock Road, Stamford, CT. This masterpiece, located on one acre on the Shippan shoreline, was constructed in 2003 and famous as the Faye Dunaway estate. The home is grand with its gorgeous views, balconies, open-air porticos, an in-ground, heated Gunite pool, a separate cottage, a fivecar detached garage, and a historic greenhouse designed by Lord Burnham. The house includes four bedrooms, four and one-half bathrooms, and four fireplaces. The best part is that it is only a 45-minute commute to NYC and close to Stamford’s lively downtown! It is hard to believe that Stamford is a mere 45-minute train ride away to Grand Central, but this is the beauty of Connecticut. While families move for the change in pace, they can still enjoy a vibrant downtown scene, theatre, culture, excellent restaurants, and shopping. Close by, you’ll find the suburbs of Glenbrook, Springdale, Newfield, Belltown, and the Ridge, each with neighborhoods that have their own vibe and tight-knit communities. The Merritt Parkway is where you’ll find rolling hills, lakes, and ponds. What you notice most about this area is how green and lush it is. Stamford’s

30 | March 2021

Westover section is close to downtown and features spacious homes, many on a full acre. If you love older homes, the Historic districts boast magazine-worthy restored older homes. There are also newer homes with a more contemporary vibe if that’s a better fit for your family. The choice of education is plentiful. There are 21 public schools, including three magnet schools and one international school, and 15 private schools. Agent: Catherine Richardson, William Pitt Sotheby’s, 203-249-1512,



Wes tfield

Top-Ranked Schools ★ 22 Miles from NYC ★ Top 10 Places to Live in NJ

945 Lawrence avenue, westfieLd

950 Minisink way, westfieLd

231 kiMbaLL avenue, westfieLd

6 Bedrooms | 4.2 Baths Offered at $1,575,000

5 Bedrooms | 6.1 Baths Offered at $1,849,999

8 Bedrooms | 5.1 Baths Offered at $1,750,000

133 GoLf edGe drive, westfieLd

411 Quantuck Lane, westfieLd

616 Maye street, westfieLd

5 Bedrooms | 3.3 Baths Offered at $1,749,000

4 Bedrooms | 2.2 Baths Offered at $899,900

6 Bedrooms | 4.2 Baths Offered at $1,249,000

March 2021 | New York Family


Real estate

Westfield, NJ 616 Maye Street, Westfield, NJ 07090 A charming open porch beckons you to come into a home filled with high ceilings and sunlight-kissed rooms. This home features 6 bedrooms, 4.2 baths that make this property a popular one for growing families. Large windows, a first-floor family room, and a kitchen with a drool-worthy island make for the perfect family hang-outs. There are two en-suites with the main suite, including a sitting area. You can totally have your own space as parents with a walk-in closet and a full bath with a double vanity. Let’s also add that this home is next to a Trader Joe’s (yes!) and some great shopping and restaurants. Westfield is conveniently located only 22 miles from Manhattan, easy to hop on a train or bus to head to the city. The downtown area is award-winning with a popular restaurant scene and locally owned businesses. The town is suburban with an urban vibe that mixes well with the many families who have transplanted from the city. Families love that Westfield Schools are some of the top-ranked in the state. There

is a kindergarten academy, six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school campus. Agent: Frank D. Isoldi, Coldwell Banker, 908-301-2038,

MoNtclair/GleN ridGe, NJ 62 Dodd Street, Glen Ridge, NJ 07028 We’re loving this modern and spacious home, perfect for families! With 4 bedrooms, your kiddos can each claim their own room. The best part about this listing is it is ready for your family to move in. The first floor has a beautiful kitchen, including a center island and stainless steel appliances, for all your cooking and baking needs. There’s also a large living room for family movie nights and a fireplace for cozy, snowy days. And did we mention that the basement is fully finished? That’s right! Top it off with a stunning yard that has a bluestone patio, a firepit, and an in-ground pool, and you’ve got the ultimate family-friendly house. Glen Ridge is super convenient, being on the south end of Montclair and only a 30-40 minute train ride into NYC. There’s plenty of family-friendly activities to do, including the oh-so-popular 120+ Brookdale Park and Glen Ridge Country Club. Montclair/ Glenridge features top-rated schools and historic, well-maintained homes; this town is often on the list for

32 | March 2021

“Best Places to Live in NJ.” Agent:Amy Owens, Realtor/Team Leader Keller Williams NJ Metro Group, 201-396-2927,

Home is Where You Should be Happiest! c A



e c A



68 Saddle Rock Road

121 Blackberry Drive

4 BR, 4 BA, Shippan Waterfront

4 BR, 3.1 BA, North Stamford










222 Hubbard Avenue

506 Hunting Ridge Road

4 BR, 3.1 BA, Hubbard Heights

5 BR, 3.2 BA, North Stamford





Specializing in Stamford, Darien, New Canaan and lower Fairfield County Catherine Richardson

Broker 203-249-1512 March 2021 | New York Family


Real estate

Chappaqua, NY 2 Brittany Ct, Chappaqua, NY 10514 This single-family home is sun-filled and full of hardwood floors, perfect for the kids to run. There is also enough space to get that pet you keep promising your family. There is also plenty of room to set up a remote workspace. The lower level will include a gym, bathroom, and playroom, which of course, can double as a school nook. Part of the Hardscrabble Lake Community this home is on is a little under 2 acres, which means you will have lots of space. Personal favorites are the beautiful nature surrounding the property, and perhaps this is because of city life. We are obsessed with the mudroom and the spa-like bathrooms. Chappaqua is a town of New Castle, which is in northern Westchester County. It is close to the city and is why it is a pretty soughtafter town for families to relocate to from urban life. It is about 30 miles north of New York City. Many ‘city’ families move to Chappaqua for its charming downtown village and space. Homes are not cramped together, yet the town’s vibe is warm, friendly, and neighbors know each other. The schools are top-notch but

not pretentious, with public schools that run like private schools. And for families looking to live in Chappaqua, the train station is not overcrowded, and homes are close to the station for its proximity to the city. Agent: Yona Strougo, COMPASS/ Kori Sassower Team, 914.393.8653,

pelham, NY 46 Windsor Place, Pelham, NY 10803 It doesn’t get much more charming than this colonial home in Pelham Manor. We’re obsessed with the cozy living room that’s super roomy and has a fireplace to keep you warm in the winter. And workfrom-home has never been so easy with a windowed space on the first floor that can be used as an office and even more room in the basement for remote work or school. There are 4 bedrooms in total, 3 on the second floor and 1 on the third floor. The backyard is perfect for family fun, and it’s completely fenced in, so no need to worry about your little ones when you’re outside. Pelham is a vibrant community with plenty to do and see daily. Pelham Manor residents even get to enjoy exclusive Shore Park, a large park-like area just along the coast of Long Island Sound. The schools are exceptional: Prospect Hill Elementary has welcoming playgrounds where you can meet up for playdates, and there are plenty of options for early childhood school, from Montessori to play-based learning. And for our foodies, you’ll

34 | March 2021

definitely appreciate the fantastic restaurants. Agent: April H. Monaco, Houlihan Lawrence, 914.548.8350,


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The Good Life Awaits You in Chappaqua

Yona Strougo Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker in NY m: 914.393.8653

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March 2021 | New York Family


Real estate

Maplewood, NJ 27 Elberta Rd, Maplewood, NJ 07040 We’re obsessed with this Maplewood, NJ listing! With 4 large bedrooms and 2 full baths, this house is a great fit for families. It also gets bonus points for conveniency, being only 0.8 miles from South Orange NJ Transit Train Station. Easily get where you need to go while enjoying the comfort of this beautifully fenced in property. There’s also an open floor plan and builtin garage: plenty of space for storage, work from home, and all your on-the-go & staycation plans. And with a yard that welcomes family fun during all seasons of the year, this listing truly is a dream home. An active community only 30 minutes away from NYC, Maplewood always has a ton going on. We love that Maplewood prides itself on embracing a melting pot of religious beliefs, lifestyles and more. And did we mention the shopping scene? Maplewood’s Village is the downtown shopping district that does not disappoint. The school district is top-notch with students that get into Ivy League schools and renowned Universities like Julliard. Columbia High School

has the widest variety of AP courses and offers plenty of clubs and sports. Your family will fit right in at the Maplewood community! Agent: Mark Slade, Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty, 917-797-5059,

CraNford, NJ Variety is key in Cranford, NJ homes! You’ll find many split-level homes, a good number of which were built in the 40s and 50s. There are also Colonials and Victorian-style houses built in the early 1900s. Many properties are settled on spacious lots, but if your family is looking for more space for outdoor fun and games, there are also Victorians with more acres of land. No matter what stage of life you’re in-- just starting your family or having third kiddo on the way-Cranford has plenty of options that make your home search that much easier. Cranford is an ultra-convenient location less than an hour to Manhattan and the Jersey Shore-- talk about the best of both worlds! The downtown area is always popping with diverse restaurants, boutique shopping, and a movie theater. Enjoy the outdoors with 15 local parks and 2 county parks with trails, playgrounds, and ponds. The school district has strong academics, and schools are consistently top-ranked in the state. With an easy commute along the Raritan Valley train line that takes approximately 20 minutes to Newark

36 | March 2021

Penn Station and 50 minutes to NY Penn Station, Cranford is the town that has it all. Agent: Gina Suriano Barber, Coldwell Banker, 908-917-4577,

Dedicated to Matching Home Sellers and Buyers North of NYC Whether your goal is to buy or sell, walk to the train, down-size, expand, or transfer in or out of town, my experience will be an asset to your move. My commitment to my clients, combined with cutting edge tools and technology by Houlihan Lawrence, allows me to offer an exceptional service for both sellers and buyers.

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20+ Years


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H O U LI H A N L AW R EN C .CO M March 2021 | New York Family



Catching Up With Beth Beckman and her children’s travel book, Little Kid, Big City New York By Donna Duarte-LaDD


e are big fans of Beth Beckman of the popular site and IG feeds; she runs @littlekidbigcity_newyork and @ littlekidbigcity_travel so much, so she was our cover mom this past September. We appreciate the narrative Beth shares on travel, getting out with the kids, and... the biggie..her love for New York. Especially now that New York City is slowly re-opening, Beth’s book Little Kid, Big City New York (Illustrations by Holley Maher) reminds us of all the gems ready to be found in this city. So while New York starts to reopen, we are jaunting down the spots we will be venturing out to now and keeping track of where we will be visiting soon. Congrats on your new book, Little Kid, Big City, New York. I love that your book has come out when we all need to know the gems in NYC. Can you share what inspired you to write this book? The idea came about around 4 years ago when our little guy had just started getting into books. He was too young to read, but we spent lots and lots of time together pouring through books at home, at bookshops, and at our local libraries. During these lit trips, I always found myself sifting through the kids’ travel sections. I was constantly on the hunt looking for travel-inspired books and fun city guides for kids. While larger cities may have a picture book or two, they are not travel guides and only showcase a very limited glimpse of the cities they depict. I longed for a book that showcased a bit more culture and depth and more than just the top 10 locations or destinations. The idea for the series was born! Not only is it a travel guide for kids, it also puts the child in control of where to visit next. We aim to create fun travel guides that will inspire curious young minds to imagine, create, and navigate their own itineraries across the world’s biggest cities. In your book, you have great spots to visit with informative information. Have you actually visited all these spots?!

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Ana Gambuto

Yes! From the Staten Island Zoo to see Chuck to the Unisphere in Queens and the paddle boats in Prospect Park - I have actually visited every destination featured in the book at least once; and most multiple

times (seriously!). I’ve lived in NYC for over 20 years and have a major case of FOMO and wanderlust. Nearly every day, we go exploring or on a city adventure, which has allowed us to experience so many destinations.

This unstoppable intrigue for NYC led us to be “tour guides” in a way. People started reaching out to us for our suggestions on what to do with their weekends. Requests for city guides and itineraries for family adventure suggestions were common. We quickly became known as the NYC experts, and our platform a travel guide for local families and tourists alike. However - while I have visited all the destinations, there is one activity featured in the book that I haven’t experienced! I have never taken a ride on the Cyclone roller coaster in Coney Island. (The shame!) While it looks amazing - I’m not a fan of roller coasters and don’t do well with heights. I’ve stood next to the Cyclone multiple times and have cheered on my friends who went for a ride, but it’s the one activity that I haven’t experienced. I know this is like asking to name your favorite child, but can you give us a few of your favs in the book? Ah, this is a tricky one! I really love the bagel page. Possibly because I am such a huge bagel fan... and the way Holley (our illustrator) brilliantly depicted the water pipes as this incredible labyrinth makes me smile each time I see it. I also love the American Museum of Natural History Blue Whale page. Visiting the museum and lying on the floor, looking up at the whale’s belly (just like the book characters!) is such a special “only in New York” experience. While it sounds a bit silly, it really is a right of passage, and every New Yorker just try it at least once. Are there any destinations you wish were included? Choosing the feature destinations was the hardest part! How I wish we could have included everything, but New York City has so many (incredible) attractions and destinations, the book would need to be hundreds of pages to capture them all! The Intrepid Museum, Governors Island, and

“We aim to create fun travel guides that will inspire curious young minds to imagine, create, and navigate their own itineraries across the world’s biggest cities.” the Met were favorites. We also had featured the Flower District, but it was ultimately cut due to space. Thankfully the book has an adventure index, where we highlight additional destinations that we were not able to feature with an illustration. Anything about the book that most may not know? The book destination order follows a sequential pattern! It is in order of appearance as if you were actually on an adventure in New York City. Seeing so many destinations in one day would likely be the longest and most tiring day ever...! but we wanted it to be “real” and possible to explore in the order listed. It also helps children to grasp each destination’s location through proximity to other locations in the city. With the pandemic and New Yorkers still

practicing social distancing, what are some of the best spots you mention in your book that are great places for the family to explore in the time of Corona? I would suggest visiting all the major landmark attractions while the city is still a bit quiet. The Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, and Ellis Island are open! It’s a fantastic time to visit with fewer tourists and a perfect educational experience for the family (and helps to fill the void of school field trips.) If you have never visited the “king” of the NYC skyline, it’s the perfect time to visit the Empire State Building (and children under age 6 are free!). For outdoor experiences, The Highline, Prospect Park, and Central Park are always at the top of our list. If you can’t venture out at the moment, the book allows for a great “armchair traveling” experience too. March 2021 | New York Family


Love, Marriage and a Pandemic

A relationship expert weighs in on keeping your marriage healthy in difficult times By Donna Duarte-LaDD


e are now coming around to one full year of being in a full-blown pandemic. Perhaps you were the kind of partner that pre-COVID knew you loved your spouse yet were okay with the work travel their job requires. Or you took turns spending an evening out with the girls or boys where you socialized and unwinded. These were pockets in your lives where you both had a welcome breather and, for the sake of being real here, one less person to worry about in the day to day of marriage and kids. Fast forward to the last year, where couples have been more together than ever and under tremendous circumstances. We recently touched base with Dr. Venus Nicolino (“Dr. V”), a renowned relationship expert and the bestselling author of Bad Advice: How to Survive and Thrive in an Age of Bullshit. Dr. V answers New York Family’s questions and shares on how to get your marriage to a healthier state, reconnect again and keep it intact. As quarantine and the pandemic lingers on, how does one not let it ruin your marriage? The COVID Quarrel is very real. But couples aren’t meant to be pent up for an entire year, are you kidding me?! You can’t do the stuff you normally do for fun, money is tight, and the world is falling apart. We’re not damn superheroes. Not even superheroes could do this! This pandemic has taken so much from us; don’t let it take your marriage. You and your partner can make it to the ever-drifting finish line together, I promise you. When you’re feeling like the stress and madness in your rela-

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tionship is just too much to handle, remember to find some perspective. As heinous as this advice sounds, taking some time to remember how horrible everything is around you right now can save your marriage. And that’s not to invalidate how annoying your partner putting their soggy towel on your side of the bed every night is; it’s to validate how insanely annoying everything else is. And don’t be fooled — because you’re forced to spend so much time with your partner, you believe you’re learning “who they are.” You’re not. You’re learning who they are during a deadly pandemic that’s taken over 400,000 lives and frozen life as we know it. Trying to reflect on who they are as a person fundamentally right now is like looking at their image in a funhouse mirror (that’s not fun at all). You want an extra perfect relationship in the middle of a deadly pandemic? Well, guess what! You’re both humans with emotions, and your external environments can wind up shaking the foundation of a relationship that typically has had a cool, peaceful core. Stand together as much as you can, but don’t deny yourself the right to be extra imperfect. They say to never make decisions about relationships in a heated moment. Well, I say we’ve been living in a jacuzzi that was set way too high for the last year and it isn’t very fun for anyone right now. Being with each other and kids 24/7 can take even the healthiest relationships to a rough patch. How can one salvage the damage of poor behavior, words said at low moments in the past year? Everybody slips up, but 2020 was a whole year of banana peels. And sadly, it looks like 2021 might be more of the same,

at least for a little while. If your relationship has experienced some harsh words and low moments, I say you’ve got to remember that they’re just that — moments. The best thing you can do right now is trying to see beyond those moments because they don’t define your partnership. Don’t let them turn into something bigger than they are. Just because we’re all at home binge-watching Netflix dramas, doesn’t mean you need to star in your own every day. If damaging words were said or done, I want to direct people to the power of a sincere, “I’m sorry.” Not the thing you say in that sarcastic, passive tone — the thing you say with intention as you’re looking your partner in the eye, and after you acknowledge the harm that was caused by your behavior. At the end of the day, humans want to feel seen. We want to feel like we’re not screaming our needs into a void because our partner retreated into the bedroom to rage-watch The Bachelor after a fight. Instead, be present, and share your side of the story, too. We all know the truth is somewhere in the middle, and just because you were an asshole doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be heard, as well. Finding common emotional ground with each other gets you off those islands you’ve been floating on solo in the sea of conflict. The pandemic brings on unprecedented stress; how can a parent who has not many options of places to go to and has children to watch make sure they don’t lose it on their partner? This is the oldest trick in the book — before you say that mean thing, you’ll wind up regretting half the time, take ten seconds to breathe and ask yourself, “Is this worth

escalating right now?” And that’s hard to do. Exercising impulse control in an argument can feel like trying to not rear-end the guy who cut you off just for the rage of it. There is a middle ground between sticking up for yourself and not causing a full-blown couple crash. Science shows that hurtful words said in even just one argument can have a lasting impact on how someone feels in the relationship forever. You don’t want that, especially if it’s not how you’d normally conduct yourself. Everyone’s experiencing some kind of elevated stress right now; don’t let it mess up your life any more than it already has. If a breath exercise sounds like some newage crap you’re not trying to do, then you can just take a breather. Excuse yourself to the other room for a second. Nobody said it has to be graceful. You can just zip it and zip it to the closet for a moment. And if your partner tries to follow you? Even if you think your partner is being an unfair jerk about things (I see you Mr. “How many times can my temple take running into

the corner of this open cupboard”), try to verbalize to them that your goal is to work through this heated hang-up together. Letting them know that ultimately their side IS your side can be incredibly disarming and instantly switch up the confrontational energy of a fight. How can you reconnect with your partner while still in a Pandemic? You’d think couples would have an easy time connecting in the pandemic given the roof they share 24/7. But as anyone knows that’s been stuck with anyone for too long, we can start to resent that roof and find escape through things like our phones and the never-ending scroll of social media. Believe it or not, you can make hanging out with your partner fun again. Get dressed up, order takeout from your favorite restaurant, drink too much wine, and then order pizza (or more pizza, if you’re fancy and had it for your main course). Download an app that gives you and your partner prompts to share stories and preferences that you’ve somehow never

even heard them say yet. For example, name of app + funny prompt/answer. Get outside. Plan walks to your local park. In many ways, COVID’s left us with some of the most fundamentally connective things to do with our SOS. And you know what might help you feel even more connected? Take a break from one another sometimes. Eat your dinner separately one night. Stay up late playing your kid’s favorite video game with them. Have a dad / mom-daughter / son hangout. Allowing your relationship some space to breathe can be a breath of fresh air that’ll leave you excited for the time you get to spend together. Dr. Venus Nicolino, best known as “Dr. V,” is a renowned relationship expert, media personality and host of WeTV’s Marriage Boot Camp, which just aired its 8th season. Dr. V recently became a bestselling author and debuted at #1 on the LA Times with the release of her first book, “Bad Advice: How to Survive and Thrive in an Age of Bullshit”. The New York Post called it one of “ five books that will change your life.” March 2021 | New York Family


Your Bucket List For spring Fun 30 terrific ideas for family-friendly activities in New York City this season

By Mia SalaS


pring is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start planning your seasonal bucket list. Let’s be honest, our 2021 bucket list has been adding up for quite some time now, especially after being cooped up for so long at home. But what exactly is open and what do you have to know before you visit? We’ve got you covered with all the spring inspo & info you’ll need to take advantage of the new season. From merry-go-round rides in the park to tacos with a waterfront view, we’ve gathered a diverse collection of spring must-dos. Many of the activities involve getting outside as the weather gets warmer bye snow (we think) hello flowers! But we’ve also snuck in some indoor fun for rainy days. Get ready for an action-packed, fun-filled, and (hopefully) less screen time season with our NYC spring bucket list for families! Bronx

Visit the Popular Exhibit at new York Botanical Garden: Spotlight on orchids February 20 - April 4

Spring orchids in NYC are always a must-see! Each year, the New York Botanical Garden hosts a series of events so that you can check out these beauties and learn about how to take care of them. Bring your family and purchase a ticket beforehand because the gardens are operating at reduced capacity. $28 adults, $12 kids ages 2-12, free for members, 10am-5pm. 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458-5126. Check out the Animals at Bronx Zoo

You want to get outside in the spring, but also stay healthy and safe. That’s why, in a huge space like Bronx Zoo, you can easily do

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both. And your kids will love checking out all the different animals that the zoo has to offer. A great way to have some educational fun, Bronx Zoo is definitely on the spring bucket list this year. Be sure to reserve a date-specific ticket in advance! $22.95 kids ages 3-12, $30.95 adults, free for members, 10am-4:30pm, hours change on March 27 to Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday-Sunday & holidays 10am-5:30pm. 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10460. Challenge Your Family Mini Golf at Turtle Cove

We’re loving the Family Putt Putt package at Turtle Cove that includes mini golf for four, plain pizza, mozzarella sticks, and water. The mini golf course is creative and fun for all ages. Everyone has to wear face coverings and social distance between holes. $39 Family Putt Putt package, or $9 adults, $8 kids ages 12 & under. Turtle Cove Golf Center, 1 City Island Rd, Pelham Bay Park, Bronx, NY 10464-1003. Hang with Your Family at the Bronx night Market Saturdays starting April 3

Returning in early April is the well-known series for culture and cuisine: Bronx Night Market. Support local and small businesses throughout the spring and summer as you try delicious food from over 50 vendors. With iconic eats and family-friendly activities, it doesn’t get much better than this ongoing event! Reserve a timed ticket ahead of time so that Bronx Night Market can monitor social distancing and capacity. Free, 12-7pm. 1 Fordham Plaza, Bronx, NY 10458. Stroll through Wave Hill

Wave Hill is now open for visitors! Tickets

must be purchased in advance, face coverings are required, and certain areas are still closed, but Wave Hill is very excited to welcome your family to the gardens. Weekend Family Art Projects are still virtual, but this could (maybe) shift to in-person in the spring. Have some outdoor fun with your family as you make your way through the art and nature that Wave Hill has to offer. $10 adults, $6 kids, free admission on Thursdays, ThursdaySunday 10am-4:30pm. 4900 Independence Avenue, Bronx, NY 10471. QuEEnS Celebrate Easter with the Barnyard Egg Hunt at Queens Farm March 27 and April 3

Before we know it, Easter will be here! With 47 acres of outdoor space, Queens Farm hosts one of the best egg hunts for kiddos in NYC. Social distancing will definitely be built in to this year’s hunt, but with so much space, the farm can accommodate a decent amount of families. Visit the farm animals, hop on a hayride, and enjoy delicious eats and treats from food vendors all day. $12/person, 11am4pm with timed tickets for egg hunting. 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens, NY 11004. Show Your Love for our Planet at the Bee a Pollinator Earth Day Celebration at Queens Farm April 22

Celebrate Earth Day with your family at Queens Farm! There will be plenty of fun activities for you to get crafty, creative & active as you learn about how Queens Farm celebrates Earth Day every day. This is a great way to get outside in the spring (with social distancing, of course!) and show your appreciation for our beautiful planet. Cost

and time TBA. 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens, NY 11004. Spend the Day at Fantasy Forest Amusement Park Opens Spring 2021

Amusement parks can finally open up again on April 9, and we couldn’t be more excited! If

you’ve been to Fantasy Forest, you know just how much fun this place is. There are tons of kid-friendly rides and timeless games like ring toss. Stay tuned to find out more about the reopening of Fantasy Forest this spring, which will surely come with social distancing and limited capacity. Free admission, $4 per ticket, 1 ticket is one ride/game, pricing deals available

for purchase of more tickets including $30 weekday unlimited ride wristband, hours subject to change. 53-51 111th St., Queens, NY 11368. Get Active at Queens Zoo Run for the Wild April 24

Mark your calendars for this 5K and 3K FamMarch 2021 | New York Family


ily Run/Walk at Queens Zoo! There will be costumed characters, music, trivia, refreshments, and, of course: free zoo admission. The two courses run throughout the zoo, and there will be social distancing measures in place to assure your health and safety. All adult participants have to fundraise $35 by April 4, and the money will go to supporting the Wildlife Conservation Society. Ticket prices vary, 8am 5K, 10:30am 3K. 53-51 111th St, Corona, Queens, NY 11368 Go Paddle Boating on North Meadow Lake Opens March 27

Rent a boat (or two!) for your family to spend the day on the lake. Wheel Fun Rentals offer pedal and double pedal boats for up to 4 people. Especially as the weather gets warmer in April, this is a great activity for the whole family to do together. Rental prices vary. North Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY. MaNhattaN Scope out the Brand New Little Island Opens in Spring 2021

We couldn’t be more excited about this Pier 55 island in a river! Little Island is a public park that brings together nature and art so you can take a break from urban life in NYC. And stay tuned for performances by NYC artists and entertainers through Little Island’s “Perform in the Park” programming. We’ve been patiently waiting for the unveiling of this new NYC oasis, so grab your family and get ready for a brand new outdoor experience this spring. Pier 55 at Hudson River Park, New York, NY 10014. Get Dizzy on Le Carrousel in Bryant Park

This iconic carousel is a must-do for spring time in NYC. Your little ones will love the brightly-colored animals and you’ll love the adorable photo you get of them on the ride! With cabaret music and an elegant, French classical style, this merry-go-round is one of a kind. After a few rides, take a stroll through Bryant Park together as a family. $3 per ride, $20 for a 10-ride discount card, March-May open daily 11am-7pm. Bryant Park, New York, NY 10018. Explore Belvedere Castle

A top attraction in Central Park, Belvedere Castle has charmed families for years. Your kids will get a kick out of this magical-like beauty-- especially as they get to climb up the

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spiral staircase inside! Enjoy breathtaking views from multiple levels of the Castle, and spend the rest of the day exploring Central Park. Free, 10am-5pm. Mid-Park at 79th, New York, NY 10024. Join the Family tours at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan

We all know the saying: “April showers bring May flowers”. 2020 and 2021 may be very different years, but some things never change. On those rainy days when you can’t go outside but don’t want to be cooped up yet again in your home, head on over the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Choose from two new family tours that include dancing & music, storytime, art-making, scavenger hunts, free play in exhibits, personal activity kits, and more. Reserve your adventure ahead of time because all visitors are required to have a timed ticket and there is limited capacity. $15 per ticket, Wednesday-Sunday 9:30am-4:45pm. The Tisch Building, 212 West 83rd Street, New York, NY 10024. Visit the the Color Factory

When it’s dark and rainy outside, The Color Factory is just what you need to brighten up your day. This colorful sensation that swept NYC off its feet in 2018 has since been surprising us with new and exciting exhibits, color palettes, and immersive experiences. Be sure to have your phone ready, because this is one of the most instagrammable places in NYC. Note that there are lots of COVID-19 safety procedures in place including masks and social distancing, and you must purchase a ticket beforehand. $35-$38 adults, $25-28 kids ages 3-12, free for ages 2 and under, Thursday 9:30am-5:30pm, Friday-Saturday 9:30am-7:30pm, Sunday 9:30am-3:30pm. 251

Spring St, New York, NY 10013. Walk the high Line

Eager to get outside this spring? So are we! That’s why, the High Line had to be on our spring bucket list. The High Line is currently open with a free timed-entry reservation system on weekends and limited capacity for social distancing. But on weekdays, you don’t need a reservation. Check out some of the best views in NYC, like the 10th Avenue Square & Overlook, and immerse yourself in history, nature, and art for the day. This is also a great way for your kiddos to use up some of that seemingly never-ending energy they have! Monday-Friday 7am-7pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-6pm. Enter at Gansevoort St, 23rd St, or 30th St, with exits throughout. treat Yourself at the Sour Patch Kids Store

Looking for a sugar rush? Well nobody does sugar like the Sour Patch Kids Store in Greenwich Village. Wall to wall, you’ll find sweet and sour treats that are sure to make any little one excited. There’s even a Sweets Bar that whips up creations like milkshakes, over-the-top ice cream cones, sweet and sour cotton candy, and more-- all Sour Patch Kidsinspired, of course. Make your spring extra sweet this year! Open daily, 12-8pm. 665 Broadway, New York, NY 10012. Celebrate Lunar New Year at Brookfield Place

Don’t skip out on celebrating Lunar New Year with your family at Brookfield Place! In partnership with the New York Chinese Cultural Center, Studio Brookfield Place is putting on one-of-a-kind live performances with advanced registration required. Friday sessions will be dance performances, and

Sunday ones will be music. March 5, 12, 5-7pm and March 7, 14, 1-4pm. 230 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10281. Cool off with a Cone at Mikey Likes It Ice Cream

This pop culture-inspired, Black-owned ice cream shop is one of our top picks for spring treats. The shop focuses on combining the best locally sourced ingredients in New York to create new and delish ice cream flavors. Our favorite is Truffle Shuffle, chocolate ice cream with mini chocolate chips and chocolate-covered marshmallows-- yum! Fun fact: the founder, Mikey, has created custom flavors for celebs like Hillary Clinton and Jay-Z. East Village: Thursday-Sunday, 2-10pm, 199 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009. Harlem hours TBA, 2500 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10030. Play Mini Golf at Hudson River Park

Manhattan’s only 18-hole mini golf course is ready for your family in Tribeca. With 13,000 square feet, waterfalls, streams, ponds, bridges, sand traps, caves, and more, this course will not disappoint. We recommend calling ahead for availability. Monday-Friday 12-5:30pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-5:30pm. Pier 25 in Hudson River Park, New York, NY 10013. BRookLyn Hop on the Rides at Coney Island Amusement Parks Opens in Spring 2021

It wouldn’t be spring without Coney Island, and lucky for us, Governor Cuomo announced that amusement parks can open at 33% capacity starting April 9! Temperature checks and pre-purchased tickets will definitely be in effect, so make sure you check in on availability ahead of time. Have you

missed Deno’s Wonder Wheel and Luna Park as much as we have? Then head on over for a day of fun and games on Coney Island.

talks with authors. Tuesday-Friday 9am-3pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-5pm. 724 Prospect Place, Brooklyn, NY 11216.

Grab a Taco at Tacocino in Domino Park

Plan a Picnic at Brooklyn Bridge Park

No spring bucket list is complete without an outdoor dining experience at Tacocina. As the weather gets warmer, head over to Domino Park for lunch at this taco stand that serves up creative and classic eats. With a waterfront view and plenty to do at Domino Park before or after your meal, your family will obsess over this trendy Brooklyn spot. Sunday-Thursday 11am-10pm, FridaySaturday 11am-11pm. 25 River St, Brooklyn, NY 11249.

On a sunny day, pack up sandwiches and snacks, and head over to Brooklyn Bridge Park for a family picnic. There are picnic tables at Piers 2, 3, and 6, the Pier 5 Picnic Peninsula, and the beautiful Picnic Grove. Picnic tables and grilling areas are first come, first serve.

Have a nature Playtime in Prospect Park

Parks are always a go-to for some spring fun in the sun, and Prospect Park is top-notch. During Nature Playtime, your family can explore the Park’s nature through creative play. Simply pre-download the Nature Playtime Spring Activity Card and start walking! Activities may include checking out insects, exploring “leaf litter”, and natureinspired arts & crafts. Catch the Puppetworks Aladdin & the Wonderful Lamp Show January 29-March 28

Operating at 25% capacity with masks required, Puppetworks is now open, and they’re ready to entertain your family! If you kiddos love the movie Aladdin, then they’ll definitely obsess over this puppet performance, suggested for ages 3 and up. The show runs through March 28, so you have plenty of time to call and make a reservation. $11 adults, $10 kids, WednesdayFriday 4pm, Saturday-Sunday 12:30pm and 2pm. 338 6th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY 11215. Grab Coffee and a Book at Cafe con Libros: A Feminist Bookstore and Coffee Shop

As Brooklyn’s ONLY intersectional feminist indie bookstore & coffee shop that is Afro-Latinx owned, we 10/10 recommend a visit to this special place. Whether you’re looking for new books, new friends, or a new community, this Brooklyn gem has you covered. Bring your kiddos for a fun day at the bookstore where they can pick out new reads that celebrate diversity, inclusion, and representation. And don’t miss out on the ohso-many events, including Zoom and IG Live

kAWS: WHAT PARTy at the Brooklyn Museum Wednesdays – Sundays, 11 am – 6 pm, Feb. 26 through Sept. 5

Brooklyn-based artist, KAWS, has bridged the worlds of art, pop culture and commerce for 25 years. KAWS: WHAT PARTY is featuring more than 100 works of his, ranging from graffiti to furniture. Tickets are available for purchase online. Play at CAMP: the Interactive Toy Store

CAMP has reopened, and we are so excited to return! Crafts and activities have certainly changed to keep your kids healthy and safe, but all of the same educational fun has stayed the same. Visit CAMP in-person this spring for arts & crafts with individually-wrapped craft kits, socially-distant tables for play, and rotating themes that will surely keep your kids entertained. Sunday-Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday 11am-6pm. City Point, 1 Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Go on a Family Bike Ride with Marine Park Rentals Opens March 27

We can’t get over how adorable these bike rentals are at Marine Park. For families with little ones, these family unit bikes are perfect for a spring outing. The Deuce Coupe sits 2 adults and 2 kids, while the Double Surrey can fit up to 6 people (4 pedal) and two little ones in the basket. Choose which bike is best for your family and get pedaling! Rental prices vary. Marine Park, between East 33rd St and Stuart St, Brooklyn, NY. Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

Sure, you could have done this in the winter, but it’s much more fun when it’s not freezing outside. Make your way from one side of the bridge to the other, and don’t forget to take cute photos of your little ones with this stunning, instagrammable backdrop. Check out Brooklyn Bridge Park after your walk! March 2021 | New York Family



Spring Reading Great books for kids of all reading levels

By Mia SalaS


ooking for creative ways to get your kiddos away from screens? These days it seems impossible with online learning, streaming services, and the oh-so-addicting TikTok dances. Reading can be the perfect substitute, especially if it’s a book that your little ones just can’t seem to put down. But finding those page-turner books isn’t always the easiest task. That’s why, we’ve rounded up our top picks for early readers, first chapter books, upper-level readers, and young adults. Check out our list and start reading with your kiddos! Early Readers

Superheroes Are Everywhere by Kamala Harris

VP Kamala Harris (enough said!) brings us this gem of a children’s book! Your kids will love getting some insight into who Kamala Harris is as they learn about all the many places to find superheroes in day to day life. This #1 New York Times Bestseller is a mustread for little ones. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better than If You Gave a Mouse a Cookie, your favorite mouse is back in Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!. The illustrations are so fun for preschoolers to follow along, and it’s the perfect introduction into reading. Even if your little ones read this book post-Valentine’s Day, they’ll still get a kick out of the heartwarming and personalized Valentines that Mouse makes for all of his friends. Llama Llama Loves to Read by Anna Dewdney and Reed Duncan

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What better way to get your kids to love reading than with a book about a llama who’s learning how to read too? Throughout the school day, the teacher helps Llama Llama and the other children practice their letters, shows word cards, reads stories, and brings them to the library where they can all choose a favorite book. And if your kiddos love this book, there’s plenty more Llama Llama books waiting for them! A Weekend with Wendell by Kevin Henkes

We know this is a throwback, but could we really make a children’s book round-up and not include A Weekend with Wendell? This book will have your little ones laughing to no end. Two cousins try to get along, but when one of them is way too bossy, the other has to stand up for herself. Family and friendship all packed into one picture book, A Weekend with Wendell is always a top pick. But if your kids play house next time and the older one gets to be the dad, mom, and kids, while the younger one has to be the know where the idea came from! First Chapter Books A Narwhal and Jelly by Ben Clanton

A narwhal and a jellyfish don’t seem to have a whole lot in common, but they do love waffles, parties, and adventures! Follow along this story of friendship as Narwhal and Jelly discover the ocean together. This 5-book and counting series is a must-read for kids with a huge imagination. She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton, joined by more collaborating authors!

With eight books in the series so far, we can only hope that there will be a whole lot more because we can’t get enough of the She Persisted reads. An especially empowering

and moving series for young girls, She Persisted features an inspiring woman in each book, such as Harriet Tubman, Sonia Sotomayer, and Ruby Bridges. Learn about women who stood up, spoke out, and never gave up. Diary of a Pug by Kyla May

Part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line, Diary of a Pug is an easy introduction into chapter books that will surely boost your kid’s confidence in reading. Bub the pug and his human Bella go on fun adventures together in each book. We love the diary-format that feels very personal and down-to-earth for kiddos. Any little one with a furry friend at home will appreciate this series even more! Upper-Level Readers (grades 3-7) Wonder by R.J. Palacio

R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness,” and we couldn’t agree more. Palacio tells the story of a young boy who was born with a facial difference, and all he wants is to be treated as an ordinary kid. The point of view moves between him, his classmates, sister, his sister’s boyfriend, and others so that readers get a full picture of how everyone in the story feels. Not only well-written, Wonder is an inspiration for us all to empathize with others’ experiences. My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi

Twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace has always lived with her grandfather in Alabama. As one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA, her grandfather has nurtured Ebony-Grace’s love for all things outer space and science fiction. But when Ebony-Grace has to

move to Harlem, she’s both excited and nervous. Will she be able to discover beauty in a new place and connect with her sci-fi roots? The power of imagination is certainly on display in this National Book Award-finalist. Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodsen

During a time where connection isn’t as simple as it used to be, Harbor Me reminds us to reach out to our friends and family and surround ourselves with people that we can open up to. Woodsen writes about a group of students who start meeting for weekly chats. Over time, they learn new things about each other and about themselves. Each character is beautifully crafted and has a unique story to tell. 10/10 recommend Harbor Me for your YA reading list. Young Adult Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh

The YA novel that everybody (no pun intended) is talking about: Every Body Looking. There is so much packed into this book: questions of sexuality, the pressures put on first-generation students, the lingering impacts of childhood into adulthood, family dynamics, and so much more. This timely novel really dives into themes of identity and belonging, themes young adults and adults alike can relate to, perhaps now more than ever. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Hot off the press (just published on February 9!) comes this stunning young adult novel, The Gilded Ones. A story with a fierce female lead, blood ceremonies, emperors, magic, and more, you’ll have to binge-read until the end. But behind all of the fantasy elements lies a very true, very real tale about sisterhood, female friendships, and social change. March 2021 | New York Family



The Wonderland of Cedar Lakes Estate The perfect pandemic getaway or retreat in Port Jervis, NY By Jana Beauchamp


reaming of a family-focused escape that’s also super chic and COVID safe? Step into a majestic wonderland at Cedar Lakes Estate. Arriving at the expansive 500 acre property this season transports families directly to the North Pole. It is serene to spend a wintry weekend sledding, snow shoeing, or snowmobiling through the snow blanketing the estate and it is easy to have the perfect socially distanced family fun getaway. Cedar Lakes has all the fresh air and snow day adventures your city kids need more than ever this season. It is cool, fun, and breathtakingly beautiful. The luxurious, all-inclusive stay has everything you could possibly dream of this winter. There are delicious meals, endless activities, and everything is magical and picture perfect. Imagine your family spending the weekend snowshoeing and sledding, ice skating and curling, and enjoying bonfires and board games. Winter

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fun is number one here. You won’t be able to get enough of it all so take a deep fresh breath of the mountaintop air and feel revitalized. There’s Snow Place Like Home at Cedar Lakes Cedar Lakes Estate has made a COVID pivot, converting its esteemed event venue into a boutique inn with individual cabins, cottages and homes suitable for all types of families (you can even bring the lucky dog since there are pet-friendly accommodations) or couples looking for an escape. The long weekend winter getaway includes a four-night stay available Thursday through Monday (allowing for sanitizing and disinfecting Monday and Tuesdays). Once on the property, all meals and activities are included in your resort fee. Head directly to the Canteen (a charming and old school general store) for check-in and then get settled into your home away from home. The Garden Suite is a perfect fit for families, complete with a king, queen, and full-sized bed as well as a kitchen, dining

area, and beautiful bathroom. The kitchen table is great for meals in-room and for the children to work at (hello, remote school). The kids will also love that there are three televisions with Netflix and grown-ups will love the fireplace to warm up and get cozy after a day full of icy cool adventures. Prepare to feel spoiled as the whole team really goes out of their way to make guests delighted with impeccable and warm service, wonderful wintry programming, and customized, personal attention. Anything you could possibly need or ask for is easily at your winter gloved fingertips. The Cedar Lakes property is so expansive that social distancing is pretty effortless; however, COVID safety is always important and visitors must wear a mask when interacting with guest and staff, maintain minimum distance of six feet, practice frequent hand washing and sanitizing, and follow their outlined covid safety procedures to keep Cedar Lakes safe. Explore and Experience Cedar Lakes Estates Bundle up and have an adventure exploring the grounds, including the hiking trails,

Trent Bailey Studio

Scott Andrew Studio

bonfire pits, scenic lookouts, Great Lawn, and of course, the mountaintop for the best sledding hills. Every day is packed with pure magic and whether you choose trekking through the snowfall on snowshoes, whirling and twirling on ice skates on the beautiful open-air rink, or trying a new sport in curling, you can’t go wrong. Not sure where to begin? The Canteen is home to the concierges who make all the magic and enchanting experiences happen seamlessly. If you need to hit pause, head to the Treehouse Lounge to refresh with bonfires, hot cocoa, snacks and vintage board games. It is the perfect place to chill from the winter chill. For movie nights and other family fun, head to the beautiful Barn. And if that doesn’t sound like enough to keep you busy, additional guest experiences are also available for a price, including a private ice rink dinner and Mountaintop Experience. For an extraordinary experience, we suggest you reserve the Mountaintop at Sunset. Bundle up and take in endless views of the Shaangunk Mountains at sunset. Sink into an Adirondack chairs and snuggle up with the comfy pillows and cozy blankets, while sipping a homemade, hot cocoa (or hot specialty cock-

tails for grown-ups) and roasting s’mores with homemade gourmet marshmallows (don’t miss the vanilla) by your own private bonfire under the stars. Enjoy exclusive access to the mountainside to soak in the panoramic mountain views and stunning sunset while sledding down the mountain again and again! Dining Delight your taste buds with the local and seasonal menus. Savor every bite of your meals like a hearty country breakfast, French toast or chocolate chip pancakes from the a la carte breakfast in the Pavilion and multicourse, plated dinners and Saturday Suppers with the likes of winter salads, braised short ribs, and apple cranberry crisps. Every bite is sure to be decadent. Definitely opt to add on a cocktail, mocktail, or other specialty drinks. The most enchanted evening dining experience was Dinner on the Ice. Eating a multicourse dinner on the private ice under the sparkling stars and twinkling lights was a winter dream come true. The food is top notch, the setting is supreme, and the combination is pure fire on ice. The icing on the ice rink dinner was that families can even lace up some snowflake skates and go special skate after dinner.

Tory Williams

Families can also pickup a picnic lunch from the Pavilion and midday snack at the Treehouse. The culinary team works to accommodate any allergies, dietary restrictions, and personal preferences, and the kids’ menu will even satisfy the pickiest of eaters. Families will also appreciate that there is always a pickup or delivery option for meals throughout the stay. Once you step into the majestic, winter wonderland at Cedar Lakes Estate you won’t want to leave. Cedar Lakes offers a bucolic setting for a memorable family getaway and it is an experience the family will cherish now and always. March 2021 | New York Family


family day out

KAWS: WHAT PARTY Pop artist’s solo exhibition debuts at Brooklyn Museum By SaBrina Lee


he Brooklyn Museum’s new exhibition, KAWS: WHAT PARTY, will open on February 26. Mark your calendars and bring the whole family to see KAWS’ first major New York City survey! KAWS, Brian Donnelly, is a Brooklynbased artist born in 1974. Through his work, he connects the worlds of art, pop culture, and commerce. Much of his work comments on consumer culture in the twenty-first century. The exhibition, KAWS: WHAT PARTY, features more than one hundred of his works — including rare graffiti drawings, notebooks, paintings, and sculptures. It also features new pieces made just for the exhibition and his popular “COMPANION” figures. Be ready to experience works both inperson and virtually with this exhibition. KAWS presents new augmented reality works that you can interact with. This is also perfect for the kids and a great way to get them engaged with the art.

Everything you need to know: Ends: Sept. 5, 2021 Where: Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing and Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery, 5th Floor 200 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052 Subway: Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum Tickets: Recommended to purchase tickets at the Brooklyn Museum website in advance. A limited number of sameday timed tickets will be sold on a firstcome, first-served basis. Ticket Prices: Adults — $25; Adults 65+, Visitors with disabilities, Students 13+ — $16; Ages 4 to 12 — $10; Ages 3 and under — Free; Members — Free Hours: Wednesdays – Sundays, 11 am – 6 pm (last entry at 4:30 pm) Note: Due to the Covid Pandemic we recomnend checking brooklynmuseum. org website for any changes to their schedule

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ComPaNioN, 2010. fiberglass, paint, 96 × 48 × 36 in. (243.8 × 121.9 ×91.4 cm). © KaWS

Looking forward to next Summer?

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Do you have a child entering KINDERGARTEN? ¿Tiene un niño que ingresará al KINDER?

The Equity Project Charter School TEP, a FREE public charter school, is accepting applications for fall 2021. TEP, una escuela charter, pública, y GRATUITA, está aceptando aplicaciones para el otoño de 2021.

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUS E/ LAS SESIONES INFORM ATIVAS VIRTUALES Kindergarten Open House via Zoom Thursday, January 14, 2021, 6:00 PM Tuesday, February 9, 20 21, 6:00 PM Thursday, March 18, 20 21, 6:00 PM

Apply at / Aplique en

RSVP at tepcharter.o rg or call 212-328-1775 ZOOM: https://us02web.zoom.


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