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June 2021 | New York Family
pg. 30 pg. 26
FEATURES 10 | Gear Sleeping products that may help you get a good night sleep 14 | Tech Details on the new Instagram for kids being launched by Facebook 32 | Travel Summer road trips for the family to enjoy and explore 42 | Style The best style jeans for moms 48 | Home Ideas and tips to brighten up your home 52 | Janet Bloom of Curious G and Me On curiosity, diversity, and the list of NYC kid-friendly spots you’ll need for an adventure-filled summer
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
Stories & columns
6 | Editor’s Note June – New Summer
18 | Preschool Listings
8 | Podcasts 7 educational podcasts for kids
on the Cover
16 | Mom Stories 5 reasons I broke up with my daughter a.k.a sent her to preschoo 26 | Family Day Out Family-friendly beaches that are in and around NY 30 | Family Day Out Easy hiking trails for the whole family 50 | Family Fun Inclusive playgrounds with features for kids with special needs in and around the city 58 | Family Day Out Harry Potter’s magical store opens June 3rd
Many thanks to the Vourderis Family of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park in Coney Island for opening up their park for our June Cover. Photo: Yumi Matsuo | yumimatsuostudio.com Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | buffysaintmarie.com Produced by: Donna Duarte-Ladd Production Asst: Katarina Avendaño Written by: Mia Salas Cover clothing on G: Yellow T-shirt and Shorts: Molo available at A la Mode Shoppe (360 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022)
Cover clothing on Janet: Striped set: Miguelina Feautured clothing on G (above left): White On-Shoulder Top and Shorts: Molo available at A la Mode Shoppe (360 East 55th Street New York, NY 10022)
Featured clothing on Janet (above left): Floral dress: Zimmermann Gold hoop earrings: vintage from Christina Caruso (instagram.com/christinacarusostyle)
Annapolis V ăÃ
Resilient to the core, Annapolis has been redeﬁning itself for nearly 400 years. This Navy town has a track record of rolling with the punches and emerging ever new. But don’t take our word for it. We invite you to hop in the car and drive to a place where life’s simple pleasures abound. Treat yourself to an afternoon of sailing or cruising the Chesapeake Bay. Dine and shop al fresco along centuries-old brick-lined streets. Bike or hike our miles of trails. Discover best kept secrets on a ghost or history tour before calling it a day at a historic inn or hotel. Discover Annapolis redeﬁned.
P L A N YO U R S TAY AT V I S I TA N N A P O L I S . O R G June 2021 | New York Family
NewYorkFamily.com 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 Sales Assistant: Jake Davis Art Director: Leah Mitch Web Developer: Sylvan Migdal Graphic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti Nina Gallo Photography
June - New Summer Last summer, when all was closed and the days were inviting to be outside — many of us had to tell the kids, “sorry, we need to stay in.” Yet, there were still waves of optimism and declarations that things will get better, and thankfully, New York is on the road to recovery and is reopening. This is why for this issue, we went extra. We have articles on The Best Sleeping Products for Parents (page 10) because, you know, life. As well as Cris Pearlstein sharing with us why she ‘Broke Up’ with her daughter (a.k.a sent her to preschool page 18). With school coming to a close, the kids (and you!) will want to read up on the 7 Engaging Podcasts (page 8) perfect for summer listening while the family takes a
Family Road Trip (page 32). Lastly, we are super excited for this month’s cover mom, Janet Bloom from Curious G and Me (page 52). Contributor Mia Salas chatted with Janet on staying curious, how she talks to her daughter about the recent hate crimes against the AAPI community and why she loves raising her daughter in a diverse city. We are immensely grateful to Janet and G for trekking to Coney Island for an ultra fun photoshoot and, of course, sharing all the incredible things for our readers to do this summer in NYC!
Xo, Donna and New York Family
Editorial Contributors: Jana Beauchamp, Cris Pearlstein, Mia Salas Editorial Interns: Patrick Delaney, Analiese Dodd
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NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
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Engaging Podcasts for Kids 7 educational options that are perfect for Summer By Donna Duarte-LaDD
t’s time for our kids to start winding down from a pandemic school year and enjoy being kids. Whether it’s visiting the park every day or going to summer camp, keeping them engaged is always a huge part of avoiding the school slide. Books, visiting NYC museums and libraries, and apps are ways to keep our kids interested and learning. Luckily some amazing podcasts will keep kids learning and, most importantly, engaged! Chompers Do you ever feel that you spend a fair amount of time begging or persuading your children to brush? Chompers is a two-minute morning and evening program of silly songs, fun facts, jokes, and riddles. If you have an Alexa, the app will keep track of the brushes. Ages 3-7. Circle Round Not all kids have the patience to sit or listen to a podcast, especially when it isn’t part of the school curriculum. These short (10 to 20 minutes) podcasts are where kids can listen to curated folklores with themes that explore issues such as compassion, humanity, and persistence. Ages 4 to 10. Story Pirates Kids are the creators of this podcast with actors an eclectic group of comedians, musicians, teachers, and actors who bring these stories to life. Recent podcasts such as The Boy Who Had a Pet Ice Cube/The Not-So-Safe Safe and The Missing Golden Eggs/The Super Secret Sassy Story are pure creativity and endless inspiration for kids. Ages 3- to 103. The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian Kids will love following Finn, an eight-yearold boy who lives in a space station. Finna has
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
friends. Along with Abigail, Elias, and Vale, Explorers Troop 301 explore in 15- 20 minute episodes into uncharted planets, help the occasional alien and solve mysteries helping to save their space station. Ages 5 to 10.
a kid with co-host Molly Bloom search for answers to the world’s most captivating questions. We all know kids ask the darnedest things. This is the podcast you want the kids to jump on and have fun while learning. All ages.
Story Seeds StorySeeds pairs best-selling authors and kids ages 6 to 12 to collaborate and create a storytime. With a season of podcasts, kids can listen to a brainstorming idea being processed and developed into a cool story. Ages 6 to 12
Stuff You Should Know My oldest enjoys spewing out facts. What we call education, information, and what not; kids call stuff. I wish a podcast like this were around when I was a kid. It is way more fun to learn about How Cave Dwellers Work or Rosa Parks. You may want to skip some podcasts like the online in LSD or How Corporate Taxes Work, so we do suggest you check out what podcast is appropriate for your child.
Brains On The entire family can get on this podcast that inspires science and history. Each podcast,
Only in Hudson County NJ
Liberty State Park Statue of Liberty Liberty Science Center Ellis Island American Dream
Liberty State Park, in Jersey City, is a 1,200-acre green space with Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. Liberty Science Center is a 300,000 square foot science experience which is ideal for all ages, featuring the western hemisphere’s largest IMAX dome planetarium, a 3D theater, 110 species of live animals, hurricane and tornado-force wind simulators, live simulcast surgeries and many travelling museum exhibits. Statue Cruises ferry service departs daily from Liberty State Park for the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum. The ferry is located next to the historic Central Terminal building. Ferries depart from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m and approximately every hour. Departure area is accessible from Liberty State Park Light Rail Station and there is plenty of visitor parking American Dream near the MetLife Stadium complex is at once an attraction, shopping and dining mecca. A colossal Garden State attraction, this 3 million square foot experience center in East Rutherford, is two miles from an array of hotels in Secaucus, and offers an exciting new entertainment and shopping experience. Stop by our website at www.visithudson.org. See you soon!
MetLife Stadium Statue Cruises
Supported in part by a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism
FOLLOW US: @visithudsonNJ
June 2021 | New York Family
The Best Sleeping Products By Donna Duarte-LaDD
he pandemic, remote life, and everything that goes with it has made many of us lose sleep, which was pretty precious pre-pandemic! While we make our way out of the fog of the last year and a half, this also has some of us losing more sleep—Oy vey. And while we aren’t sleeping experts, we are humans losing sleep. This is why we tested products that give parents something more valuable than gold—a good night’s sleep. Here Are five sleep products that we feel are worth a try.
Sleep Assistant with Google Nest Hub The second-generation Google Nest Hub tackles something that many people deal with, which is sleep issues. Sleep Sensing uses Motion Sense which is designed to help improve sleep by monitoring your sleep patterns. Once the hub gets your sleep data, you will then be given insights and helpful tips geared towards your sleeping patterns. And while this may feel like a Big Brother is watching, there is no camera on, and all data like coughing and um snoring stays with the data. You can also save or delete. Presently the Sleep Sensing is free with the purchase of the nest Hub (2nd generation) until next year. Googlestore.com, Starts at $99.
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
A Clock That Promotes Snooze: Hatch Restore Smart Sleep Assistant with Sound Machine and Sunrise Alarm Clock Part of feeling wellrested is how we wake up in the morning. Instead of waking up abruptly to a beeping alarm clock, the Hatch Restore will gently wake you up with its sunrise light effect and soft noises such as birds chirping. And to help you wind down at night, you can create the perfect relaxing setting with ambient sounds and dim lighting until you fall asleep. Our tester commented, “This alarm clock has been a game-changer in how I sleep and helped me fix my sleep cycle quickly.” Buybuybaby.com, $129.99
All New Yorkers should feel safe at home, while commuting, at work, and when encountering police. Tali, who came to the U.S. as a refugee, has served across American legal institutions, from the Supreme Court to President Obama’s Justice Department, and has prosecuted everything from gun violence to tax evasion. As DA, Tali will tackle domestic abuse and sexual assault and get guns off our streets while making the criminal justice system fair for all New Yorkers.
www.taliforda.com PAID FOR AND APPROVED BY NEW YORKERS FOR TALI
June 2021 | New York Family
A Supportive Mattress: Nectar Premier Copper Memory Foam Mattress This new premium mattress from Nectar is serious about your sleep. First, the design-y stuff on why this mattress is so good. It starts with the layers such as the Quilted Cool Cover With Copper And Sleep Fabric Tech (cooling technology). Then the Nectar Smart Layer with ActiveCool HD (works with your sleep temperature) and the Dynamic Support Layer (extra plush to help you sleep deeply) are just a few of the premium design touches that make this mattress super comfortable. Our tester, okay, it was me, had some of the most comfortable nights of sleep in a year. This mattress is firm yet not hard and comfortable but not too cushy, so the body has balance support. Nectarsleep.com, Full mattress,$1599- 2097. *And while supplies last, Nectar will give away the Google Nest Hub with Sleep Sensing with every purchase of one of its new mattresses – free of charge!
Keep the Light Out: Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), “Blue light has the strongest impact. Exposure to blue light (and white light, which contains blue light) during the sensitive period can make it difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.” So in layman’s terms, this means if that modem light or street light is making you toss and turn, perhaps it’s time to give an eye mask a try. This Washable Silk Sleep Mask is made from naturally moisturizing silk, and not only blacks light, but it also helps to reduce the appearance of fatigue. Our tester Katarina shared, “It’s also super comfortable to wear, like a soft pillow over your eyes; and I especially like that the band isn’t super tight around the head so you can avoid hair creases.” Lunya.co, $48.
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
Sleep Aid with CBD: CBD Blackberry Rose Sleep Gumdrops When you want a few more Z’s, this gumdrop is the perfect mix of CBD, CBN(Cannabinol), and melatonin to take before bed. Our tester commented, “Unlike other products that taste more “earthy,” these gumdrops have a nice fruity/ floral flavor.” Mollyj.com, $70.
Upgrading Your Pillows: Organic and Plush Avocado Pillow We all know that feeling when we sleep on a great pillow versus a not-sogood pillow. The Green Pillow from Avocado is made from GOLS organic certified latex and GOTS organic certified kapok. It is also GREENGUARD Gold certified and vegan, and handmade. These pillows are the Rolls-Royce of pillows. Our tester stated when testing the pillows, “It is like sleeping on butter.” Avocadogreenmattress, $89.
For a Night of Rest: Hum Beauty zzZz I, like many, have work and school on my mind more than usual since both now reside in my home, which means I struggle a bit with a good nights sleep. If looking for a non-CBD sleep aid that you can use more consistently, I tested and am now a customer of the Hum Beauty zzZz vegan capsules. The capsules have Melatonin (calming) and vitamin B6 (normalizes circadian rhythm) along with calcium both helping promote sleep. Humnutrition.com, $14.99.
Changing Lives & Transforming Communities... One Scholar at a Time! INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL We are a high performing academically rigorous college-prep located in the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Sector of the Bronx. International Leadership Charter High School is a tuition free institution that aims to prepare the young men and women of the Bronx not only for the demands of higher education, but also for leading productive and meaningful lives. The International Leaderships’ scholars represent some of the world’s future leaders. Our vision over the past 15 years is to provide College Preparatory Curriculum and an inclusive learning environment that promotes high academic expectations for all! For More Information visit our website www.ilchs.org Or Contact Edilis Gonzalez email@example.com 718-562-2300 ext.404 to schedule an appointment to visit our school.
INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL Somos una escuela secundaria de preparación universitaria académicamente rigurosa de alto rendimiento ubicada en el sector Riverdale / Kingsbridge del Bronx. International Leadership Charter High School es una institución gratuita que tiene como objetivo preparar a los hombres y mujeres jóvenes del Bronx no solo para las demandas de la educación superior, sino también para llevar una vida productiva y signiﬁcativa. Los estudiantes de International Leaderships representan a algunos de los futuros líderes del mundo. Nuestra visión durante los últimos 15 años es para tener una de escuela secundarias autónomas de liderazgo internacionale y programas de estudios de preparacion universitaria. Tenemos un ambiente de aprendizaje inclusivo que promueve altas expectativas académicas para todos! Para mas información visite nuestra página electronica www.ilchs.org or Correo eletronico a la senora Gonzalez at firstname.lastname@example.org Telefono 718-562-2300 ext 404 para programar una visita a nuestra escuela.
International Leadership Charter High School 3030 Riverdale Avenue, Bronx, NY 10463 718-562-2300 / www.ilchs.org
Upcoming Upcoming Orientations & School Tours: Tours May 6thby- Appointment June 11th Available
June 2021 | New York Family
New Instagram for Kids in the Works As Facebook announces a controversial new app, here’s what parents should know By AnAliese DoDD & DonnA DuArte-lADD
acebook has recently announced they will be expanding their popular photosharing app by launching an Instagram for kids under the age of 13. This new version of the app will encourage kids to create their own safe experience where they can share posts with their friends. We’re looking at the plan for this new app and some of the concerns parents should be aware of before signing their kids up for this new experience. What is Different About this New Instagram for Kids? As of now, Instagram doesn’t allow users under the age of 13 in order to protect kids’ privacy. This new Instagram for kids (under 13 years old) will allow kids to communicate with one another while limiting their access. The program is led by Pavni Diwanji who has overseen many children focused projects for Google including YouTube Kids. The exact layout of the kid’s app hasn’t been specified as the program is still in early development. Instagram has said they need to do more to protect its younger users from some of the dangers that come with social media. In particular, they are looking into ways to prevent the bullying, predation, and abuse that sometimes finds kids on their app. This new version of Instagram will severely limit access to these kinds of environments, and will give parents control or transparency over what’s happening on their child’s account. What Are Some Concerns Over the App? While this new version of the app may invite kids to engage with one another, parents should still be wary of the new experience. Despite Instagram’s assurance that the app will be secure, there are still risks with getting young kids involved with this kind of social media. Sometimes when kids get involved with apps like YouTube Kids and other kid versions of apps they transition quickly to the adult versions of the app.
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
This new Instagram for kids app has not been fully developed or tested, but it might be best to keep as updated as possible while more information comes in. This new Instagram can be a great thing for kids in moderation, but it is easy for them to get consumed by it. Each family should make their own choice when it comes to downloading the app and deciding the parental controls that are appropriate for each individual child. As recently as May 10, 2021 – Attorney generals from 44 states and territories issued a letter to Mr. Zuckerburg urging Facebook to drop its plan to create Instagram for kids. The letter also stated “One study found that frequently viewing selfies led to “decreased self-esteem” and “decreased life satisfaction,” (ref: Wang, R., et al. Let me take a selfie: Exploring the psychological). The letter also
states “Third, Facebook has a record of failing to protect the safety and privacy of children on its platform, despite claims that its products have strict privacy controls. Reports from 2019 showed that Facebook’s Messenger Kids app, intended for kids between the ages of six and 12, contained a significant design flaw that allowed children to circumvent restrictions on online interactions and join group chats with strangers that were not previously approved by the children’s parents.”(ref:5 Russell Brandom, “Facebook design flaw let thousands of kids join chats with unauthorized users,” The Verge (Jul. 22, 2019). So plan for this topic to be ongoing for some time. In the end, if the app does come to fruition parents will have all the pros and cons to make the decision for their children.
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June 2021 | New York Family
5 Reasons I Broke Up With My Daughter a.k.a. sent her to preschool By Cris Pearlstein
y the time September of last year rolled around my relationship with my toddler daughter was a dysfunctional codependency that was growing more unhealthy by the day. And like many other newly-formed relationships during quarantine, where two people are suddenly spending every second of every day together, it wasn’t going well. Don’t get me wrong, I knew becoming a mom meant I would be with my kid all the time, but I never signed up for all the time. I had always envisioned being able to drop Frankie off at a grandparents house for the weekend, or send her to have a sleepover with her cousins. I always imagined my sister, an incredibly talented artist, would take her for afternoons of arts and crafts, and I assumed my best friend and I getting our kids together for play dates would be a weekly occurrence. And I never thought anything would happen to the standing weekly date nights my husband and I relied on for our sanity. Well, we moved to a new city right before a global pandemic hit and so all of those dreams popped like the bubbles my daughter chases at the park. Being isolated in a two-bedroom apartment was taking a toll—on all of us. So I did what any self-respecting person in an unhappy relationship would do: I broke up with her. Yup, I enrolled her in full-time preschool during a global pandemic and I haven’t looked back. Now before you think I’m a horrible mother, you should know that as I write this essay she’s been going to school for about nine months and she is thriving. She tells me almost every day how much she loves her friends and her teachers. She wakes up excited for the day ahead. I can honestly say our break up was the best thing to happen
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
to us and, if you, dear reader, are having a rough time in your parent-kid relationship and are in need of some guidance, keep reading. Maybe I can help you to decide whether you should break up with your kid, too. We needed to see other people. Sure, we had our good days. I’d take her scooting by the water to gaze at the sailboats, or we would walk to the giant baseball field to blow
bubbles and run in the grass. If it was sunny and she was in a good mood then I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be. Many days though, were not so good. When the weather was crappy or I was too anxious to leave our apartment, we stayed inside all day long. Things would spiral, and it got harder and harder to come up with activities that held her attention. But the worst part
was seeing how hungry she was for human interaction. If we came across people on our adventures around the city she went out of her way to talk to them, to show off a toy she was holding, or to tell them about her scooter. She would strike up a conversation with the clerks at the grocery store, or really anyone at the grocery store. While at the park she would spot a group of little kids and ask me if she could play with them, and when I’d say no she would be heartbroken. When she started hugging our phones during FaceTime calls with family, I knew she was desperate for other people. I realized preschool was the right thing not only for my sanity, but for hers too. While in our relationship, I had lost myself. Becoming a mom was something I spent a lot of time, money, and energy on. It took my husband and I four years, two IUI’s, and four rounds of IVF to finally get pregnant, and when we did we were beyond thrilled. But combine a horrible pregnancy with a long and complicated labor, and then add in the usual shock of actually taking your baby home from the hospital, and the whole thing was way more than I could have bargained for. I always considered myself good with kids, maternal even, but the shift in my identity and the inevitable change in our priorities as a couple, made the whole having-a-baby thing feel very unnatural to me. Call me dumb but I didn’t realize how much of myself I’d need to give in order to take on this new role. Between the sleepless nights, the breastfeeding, and the constant feeling of being on, I was running on fumes. And what’s more, after all the years of having one clear goal (having a baby), I didn’t know what to do once I accomplished it. It felt like I no longer had something to work towards, and I was often left with a now what? feeling. It became clear to me that I would not be fulfilled just by being Frankie’s mom. I needed to find a sense of accomplishment and success that was separate from her. I needed more. We weren’t the best versions of ourselves when we were together (all the time). I love my daughter with every fiber of my being, but I did not love spending all day every day with her. It was just. too. much. I will admit that I’m not a very patient person, and I like to do things in a fast, efficient way. But if you’ve ever hung out with a toddler you know they are the opposite of fast and efficient. Now that I have time to myself during the day to recharge, run errands, write, work, whatever, when I pick her up from school my patience
When she started hugging our phones during FaceTime calls with family, I knew she was desperate for other people. I realized preschool was the right thing not only for my sanity, but for hers too. cup is full. I’m excited to see her because I genuinely miss her. It means she has the chance to miss me, too. We give each other the biggest hug, I pull her close and tight and kiss her neck. On the car ride home we talk about her day, who she played with, whether she climbed a tree at the park, and what songs they sang during circle time. When we were together all the time all I was doing was counting down the minutes until naptime, or thinking about when I could pawn her off to my husband, or waiting for the moment I could plop her on the couch in front of the TV—all so I could have a break. Take it from me, missing each other is way better than what I was feeling before. There was someone else. To put it bluntly, I missed my husband. It goes without saying that during the past year and a half many families have been short on childcare, and we were no exception. There were no playdates to pass the time, no grandparents to quarantine with, no babysitters to pay. My husband was working remotely, locked in our bedroom all day, while I was spending my time trying to entertain a toddler who requires constant attention and a seemingly endless amount of snacks. Him and I became passing ships, our only encounters were about meals or whether I needed to sneak into the bedroom to grab a pair of socks. By the end of the day, when we finally were alone, we were two zombies. Two zombies who needed to rest and recharge, but who also had to take care of all the administrative things being an adult requires like paying bills, making plans, and discussing all the million of things that need
to be discussed when you’re married and raising a kid. Once those things were done all we could do was veg out on the couch and watch too many hours of too many shows. We were two zombies too tired to do anything. I missed being alone and awake and a nonzombie adult with my husband. We kept trying to change each other. There is a common thread in most successful relationships: both partners accept each other for who they are. Trying to change a person you love can be a dangerous thing, as it often leads to conflict and chaos. Frankie and I were no different. While stuck in our apartment day after day I kept trying to engage her in calm, low-mess activities. I favored puzzles, coloring books, building blocks, and Disney movies. The problem is that my daughter is not a calm, lowmess kid. She has a ton of energy, a short attention span, and a hatred of sitting still. For her, coloring with crayons was boring, and watching Frozen meant too much time sitting in one spot. She loved puzzles but they were over too quick. For a two year old stuck inside, making a mess of toys and pillows and snacks and paint was much more appealing than playing quietly. I hate to admit it but looking back I realize I was stifling her. I kept trying to force her into activities that made the least amount of mess, with the least amount of chaos. And she kept testing my limits, too. She was operating like I was a laid-back, free-spirited mom, instead of a neat freak with a slightly uptight personality and a touch of OCD. But it’s not her fault that she’s a curious, active toddler, and it’s not my fault I am the way that I am either. We needed to accept each for who we are, but we didn’t have the tools to get there. I braced myself for the first day of preschool. I knew it was the right decision for our family, but my brain kept imagining the worst case scenario of my three year old screaming bloody murder, clutching my body, refusing to enter the kids paradise that was beyond the cheerful green door. I had to prepare myself for the worst mostly because I really didn’t know what to expect. Yes, she’s outgoing and super-friendly, but at that point thanks to the pandemic, she hadn’t spent any time away from us since she was a baby. When we walked up to the door on the first day her teachers greeted us, took her temperature, and made small talk. Next thing I know Frankie walked in through the green door, and didn’t even turn around to say goodbye. It was clear she had been waiting for this breakup, too. June 2021 | New York Family
Preschools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement
BASIS Independent Manhattan
A non-sectarian program welcoming all children since 1952 Dedicated to children’s growth and learning Children ages 2.0-5.3 Large, airy classrooms, rooftop playground & an indoor play space Experienced, nurturing teachers Specialists for Music, Movement, Studio, Gardening, & our Healthy Snack Program
The First Presbyterian Church Nursery School 12 West 12 Street, New York, NY 10011 th
212.691.3432 | www.fpcns.org
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
795 Columbus Ave , Upper West Side 556 W. 22 St. , Chelsea manhattan-admissions@ basisindependent.com manhattan.basisindependent. com Gifted and talented students get the best possible start to their education at BASIS Independent Manhattan, a PreK–12 private school. The Early Learning Program offers PreK students an advanced, comprehensive curriculum led by nurturing experts in early childhood education who encourage curiosity, creativity, and independent thinking from day one. From practicing flexible problem solving to cultivating a genuine love and excitement for learning, our program lays a foundation for success as students advance in their educational journeys.
Chelsea Day School 319 Fifth Ave, 2nd Fl. New York NY 10016 212-675-8541 Chelseadayschool.org Chelsea Day School is a loft-like space that includes 8 classrooms, a large open indoor play space and a rooftop playground and garden. The space was designed to maximize light, connection and community - core principles of the program. Playbased learning permeates all aspects of the program. Children play to make sense of their world, to learn about themselves and each other, to develop language, to gain self-confidence and selfcontrol and to understand and express their feelings. The program provides a strong foundation for our children that will support future academic pursuit and a lifetime of learning. For questions about admissions or applying to the school please contact them at Admissions@ ChelseaDaySchool.org.
The École 206 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 646 766 1843
theEcole.org bonjour@theEcole.org Just like its students, The École’s Maternelle is growing! For the 2021-2022 school year, The École is excited to announce the opening of its Pre-Nursery program. This class for two-year-olds will be fully integrated into the bilingual program and will now constitute the very first year of Preschool or Maternelle. The École’s Maternelle curriculum leans heavily on the scholastic depth of the French full-day program, blending in the play-based approaches of the best US early learning systems. Maternelle students at The École are able to move between moments, are ready to share and care with everyone and are eager to embrace each new day.
The First Presbyterian Church Nursery School 12 West 12th Street New York, NY 10011 212-691-3432 fpcns.org email@example.com The First Presbyterian Church Nursery School was founded in 1952 in the heart of Greenwich Village. The school offers a non-sectarian program, welcoming children and families of all configurations, religions, races, cultures, and economic backgrounds. The Nursery School is dedicated to the development of the whole child in a warm and nurturing environment, with an educational philosophy enhanced and inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach. FPCNS serves children ages 2.0 to 5.3. The nursery school offers large airy classrooms, a roof top playground, lending library and indoor play space for rainy day play.
German International School New York (GISNY) 50 Partridge Road, White Plains, NY 10605 914- 948- 6513 GISNY.ORG firstname.lastname@example.org A Pre-K through grade 12 college preparatory
Through our unique dual program, which incorporates both the French and American curricula, The École offers students the lifetime beneﬁts of a bilingual education and empowers them to create and connect to a world ﬁlled with possibilities.
Pre-N, N, Pre-K, K
For the 2021-2022 school year, The École is excited to announce the opening of its Pre-Nursery program! This class for two-year-olds will be fully integrated into the bilingual program and will now constitute the very ﬁrst year of Maternelle.
Fifth Avenue Building
206 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10010 bonjour@theEcole.org
June 2021 | New York Family
Preschools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement
Established in 1977
A Multilingual and Multicultural School for Future Global Leaders PreK – 12th Grade Co-Ed
program. Open a world of opportunities for your child with a bilingual education and a curriculum that emphasizes the sciences. Our Pre-K and Kindergarten programs offer three- to six-year-old children a bright, spacious, and nurturing environment, and with our Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Program our students enjoy most of their school day outdoors exploring, learning, and playing on our beautiful 20-acre campus. Children entering our Pre-K or Kindergarten programs are not required to speak or understand German and will build the foundation of being bilingual by first grade.Learn more at our next Virtual Open House:June 16 th , 2021 from 3 p.m. to 4:15pm. Please register @ https://www. gisny.org/admissions.
The International Academy of New York
We believe education can provide a gateway to the world. La Scuola’s interdisciplinary and multicultural education affirms the importance of the historic, literary and philosophical continuum, preparing students for opportunities both in America and in Europe. Private tours available by appointment: email@example.com La Scuola d’Italia maintains a policy of rolling admissions. 12 East 96th Street New York, NY 10128 Tel. 212.369.3290
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
4 East 90th Street New York, NY 212-641-0260 ianyc.org The International Academy of New York is a multicultural and diverse school for 2 year olds through 5th Grade. The school nurtures all aspects of human development—intellectual, physical, creative, social, and emotional—in order to raise young adults who possess the skills, the confidence, and the compassion to contribute and thrive anywhere in the world. IANY offers half day and full day programs, 5 days a week for two and three year olds, and then full days from PreK and up. Classrooms are small, and children learn either Spanish or Chinese through immersive language, music and art classes. Located at 4 East 90th Street right next to Central Park. Placement is available for the fall: apply now or sign up for a tour. www.ianyc.org
The Kid’s Korner Preschool kidskorner.nyc email: kidskornernyc@gmail. com 212 229-9340
The Kid’s Korner strives to give young children a warm and accepting environment where they will develop confidence, selfesteem, inner discipline and increasing independence. The children explore and discover their world through structured and free play activities, enabling each child to learn at their own pace. Our small classes and low student-teacher ratio allow each child to receive individualized attention in a caring and nurturing environment. Our children play outside everyday, weather permitting, in our secure backyard playground. The program follows the principles of child development and is NAEYC accredited.
La Scuola d’Italia 12 East 96th Street, New York, NY 10128 212-369-3290 lascuoladitalia.org Rooted in Italian excellence since its founding in 1977, La Scuola d’Italia has celebrated a global perspective, bridging the best features of European and American educational systems to provide a multilingual education in the heart of New York City. Their early education programs are child-centered and inquiry-based, steeped in the Reggio Emilia philosophy and led by a team of warm and supportive teachers. At its core, La Scuola is a community of enthusiastic teachers, staff, parents and administrators who are committed to developing their students’ cognitive thinking and emotional intelligence while instilling a deep love of learning.
The Montessori School of New York International Sutton Place 212-223-4630 montessorischoolny.com In a lovingly and thoughtfully prepared environment, children are encouraged to explore all academic dimensions at their own pace and interest level, helping them grow in self-esteem
Care and learning, where you are.
Vivvi’s inquiry-based curriculum is inspired by students’ interests, supports children’s curiosity and aligns the depth of our work with key learning milestones. The Vivvi Learning Model, in this way, nurtures each child’s potential by guiding deeper thinking and awareness through curiosity and play to prepare for Kindergarten and beyond.
Meet us online for a virtual tour vivvi.com Unrivaled Flexibility Open 7am - 7pm Monday - Friday
2, 3, and 5-day programs
Convinient locations Tribeca | 75 Varick Street World Trade Center | 50 Park Place Hudson Yards | 55 Hudson Yards In-home care also available June 2021 | New York Family
Preschools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement
Celebrating 27 Years! Accepting applications for the 2021–2022 school year On-site in-person tours daily @4:15pm Appointment required
2021-2022 ROLLING ADMISSIONS OPEN
212-229-9340 • kidskorner.nyc 247 West 24th Street New York, NY 10011
The Montessori School of New York International 347 East 55th Street (at First Avenue)
Wisdom through Knowledge Ages 2 to 14
Where Learning Comes To Life! Summer Day Camp • Half Day (9am to 12pm), Full Day (9am to 3:30pm) and Extended Hours (8am to 6pm) for Working Parents • Excellent placement record for Specialized High schools and gifted programs • Accelerated Track for Gifted Children
Call now for a brochure/appointment
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.montessorischoolny.com Non-profit educational, non-denominational & non-discriminatory
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
and independence. Classes are equipped with a full complement of didactic imported Montessori materials that encourage the absorption of concepts through play, leading them to become well-rounded, confident citizens of the world. Science, Music, Foreign Language, Musical Theatre, Swimming, Dance, Sign Language, Yoga and Chess are part of the program as well. Children usually do extremely well academically, and are prepared for admission to gifted and competitive programs. A unique summer program, staffed by the school’s year round teachers, offers a balance of continued learning with outdoor activities, ranging from educational themebased field trips to group sports activities. and cared for by their nurturing teachers who are dedicated to their classes. Teachers are highly qualified with various levels of education and years of experience in early childhood education.
Purple Circle Early Childhood Program 2697 Broadway New York, NY 10025 212-866-9193 purple-circle.org email@example.com Purple Circle was founded in 1972 as a parent cooperative serving children ages two through five, year-round from 8am to 6pm. Our mission is to preserve, celebrate and respect children’s right to play. Classrooms are designed to encourage exploration and investigation. Curriculum is developed through adult observations of children’s questions, ideas, conversations and use of materials such as art, literature, clay, block building and drama. When curriculum is tailored to meet children’s strengths and interests, and the environment supports this, children come to see themselves as capable learners, making sense of the world around them.
Pusteblume International Preschool 244 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10011 212-206-1137 pusteblumenyc.org firstname.lastname@example.org A licensed, non-profit, independent preschool for children ages 2 to 5 with German and Spanish language immersion. Dual language is an option as well. Our school also offers after-school and enrichment programs for all ages that are open to students from other schools. The Pusteblume curriculum is built around inquiry and exploration in the classroom, the school community and the vibrant city that surrounds us. Our licensed, native-speaking faculty teaches music, movement, literacy and visual arts in a fun and warm learning environment that cultivates the growth and development of your child. Visit www.pusteblumenyc. org to learn more and schedule your virtual tour.
VHG Group - Early Childhood Language Schools Arc En Ciel Bilingual Preschool, Upper East Side, 212-410-0180 Bilingual Nest, West Harlem, 212-665-3354 Petits Poussins too, West Harlem, 212-663-7777 Petits Poussins Brooklyn, Downtown Brooklyn 646-3343423 - OPENING SEPT. 2021 vhggroupny.com. VHG Daycares and Preschools welcome students from all cultures and backgrounds. Their French, Spanish and English speaking teams motivate and guide infants, toddlers and preschoolers to become independent, confident, and caring, in a bilingual setting.
Vivvi Tribeca 75 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013 212-519-7660 vivvi.com
Vivvi World Trade Center 50 Park Place, New York, NY 10007 212-602-0829 vivvi.com
I n t e r nat I o nal p r e s c h o o l
• Language Immersion Preschool (German, Spanish or Dual Language)
• After School, Enrichment Programs and Holiday Camps for children ages 3-12 — open to students from other schools • Inquiry and exploration based curriculum taught by native speaking faculty • Light filled, spacious facility in the heart of Chelsea
Schedule your virtual tour to find out what makes us so special. 244 West 14th Street, NYC, NY 10011 212-206-1137 school office 646-251-2179 mobile
Bilingual. Multi-cultural. Diverse.
Helping students gain the skills, confidence and compassion to contribute and thrive anywhere in the world. Our curriculum highlights excellence in literacy, numeracy and the humanities. Our dual language program teaches Spanish and Chinese to fluency through the arts. JOIN US in early childhood for a joyful, play-based experience, and grow through 5th grade with compassion and confidence. NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR PRE- NURSERY – 5th GRADE.
4 East 90th Street 212-641-0260 www.ianyc.org
View our COVID plan June 2021 | New York Family
Preschools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement
Vivvi Hudson Yards
55 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001 212-561-8914 vivvi.com Vivvi provides exceptional early education for children ages 0-5, with unrivaled flexibility and leading health and safety for today’s families. Our inquiry-based curriculum is inspired by students’ interests, supports children’s curiosity and aligns the depth of our work with key learning milestones. The Vivvi Learning Model, in this way, nurtures each child’s potential by guiding deeper thinking and awareness through curiosity and play to prepare for Kindergarten and beyond. We have three campuses in Manhattan—TriBeCa, Hudson Yards and World Trade Center, and our InHome program is available in cities across the US, meeting families where they are.
Early Childhood Prgram
CELEBRATING PLAY SINCE 1972 Welcoming Children Ages 2 to 5 Part & Full Day Options from 8am–6pm 5 Days a Week, Full Year Program NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR FALL 2021 2697 Broadway, New York, NY 10025 www.purple-circle.org • 212-866-9193
Wetherby-Pembridge School 7 East 96th Street, New York, NY 10128 646-213-3400 wetherbypembridge.org At Wetherby-Pembridge, the 2020-2021 school year has been full of inspiration, resilience, progress and fun. They were able to welcome their whole school back in person from September and with careful guidelines in place, their littlest learners have taken part in a full range of school-wide activities like karate, forest school, cooking, dance and STEAM classes. The children have blossomed and grown in confidence and self-esteem and even their youngest learners have enjoyed being part of the wider pupil community, participating in sports day and offering their votes for school charities and the new mascot. Their sense of joy, togetherness and optimism encourages even the youngest students in a love of school and learning.
Now accepting children 3 months to 4 years, Mon. to Fri., 8AM-6PM
NEW OPENING FALL 2021
Upper East Side 212-410-0180
West Harlem 212-665-3354
West Harlem 212-663-7777
Downtown Brooklyn 646-334-3423
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
We make learning FUN! Our children’s well-being, happiness, academic and language development are at the foundation of our learning model.
At Wetherby-Pembridge School, we inspire the individual to reach personal confidence and success with integrity, kindness, respect, and manners. For more information: email@example.com | 646-213-3400 www.wetherbypembridge.org | 7 East 96th Street, New York, NY
Happy Anniversary Chelsea Day School! Early childhood program for children 2.3 to 5 years old Please join us for one of our Open Houses in the fall of 2021
Chelsea Day School
319 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016 www.chelseadayschool.org June 2021 | New York Family
FAMILY DAY OUT
Bes� NY Beaches f�r �he Family BY DONNA DUARTE�LADD
fter a year plus of social distancing, New Yorkers are more than ready to enjoy the upcoming summer, and thankfully starting May 29th, all New York City Beaches will officially be open from 10 am to 6 pm. New York has many beaches, and we are incredibly privileged to have so many beautiful destinations that are a subway or car ride away. And while kids and families cannot wait to make the beach life part of our summer again, the way to go about anywhere in NYC while it reopens does
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
require a bit of due diligence. For as of now, Jacob Riss beach, which is managed by the National Park Service, is open at 50 % capacity. Robert Moses State Park last summer would post on their Facebook page when they closed the beach due to capacity. As we know, in COVID life, this may change in the weeks ahead and since this is a new experience for everyone, we do suggest checking websites and Facebook pages before you head out. Brighton Beach (Brooklyn) 50 min to 1-hour subway (from midtown)
Known for its Russian population and
popular neighborhood “Little Odessa,” this neighbor to Coney Island is a famous beach located in the southern part of Brooklyn. This beach is a vibe-pack a picnic or pick up some of the delicious food at some of the nearby eateries and enjoy the sunshine. Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1hr, 15minSubway (from midtown)
Coney Island isn’t just a beach; it is an experience. Families can visit The New York Aquarium, and now that the amusement parks Luna Park and Deno’s Wonder Wheel are open at 33% capacity, these are also fun spots to venture to before you take your
GET TO KNOW OUR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Virtual Open House June 16, 2021 @ 3 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. To learn more and to register, please go to GISNY.ORG/admissions Open a world of opportunities for your child with a bilingual education and a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes the sciences. German International School New York, a Pre-K to grade 12 college preparatory program, is the only school in the tristate area, where graduates earn the NYS High School Diploma and the German International Abitur, a globally recognized diploma, which facilitates access to universities worldwide. Our Pre-K and Kindergarten programs offer a bright, spacious, and nurturing environment, and with our Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Program our students enjoy most of their school day outdoors exploring, learning, and playing on our beautiful 20-acre campus. Children entering our Pre-K or Kindergarten programs are not required to speak or understand German and will build the foundation of being bilingual by first grade.
| firstname.lastname@example.org | 50success. Partridge Rd, White Plains, NY 10605 | (914) 948-6513 cognitiveGISNY.ORG growth and positions them for long-term academic
June 2021 | New York Family
Family day out
place on the sand. The beach itself is always packed, so if you are looking for quite a beach day, you may want to go early before the crowds show up. Or embrace this busy beach and enjoy the boardwalk food stands -just make sure to get you tickets for any extra fun like rides or the aquarium if you plan to include these attractions to your beach day. Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, 1 hr, 28minSubway (from midtown)
If looking for a beach minus the bells and whistles that you, the family, and a good book are what you have in mind, you’ll want to check out Manhattan Beach. There is a park for the kids, and you can bring your barbeque grill and cook right by your beach spot. The waves aren’t huge, and the vibe is chill making it perfect for families with young kids. Rockaway Beach, Queens, 1hr30min – Subway (from midtown)
If you want less spectacle and more surfer destination with snack shacks (Rockaway
Beach Surf Club) and food Californians call everyday life, you’ll want to pack up the beach bag (and kids) and head over to this chill beach. It is a worthwhile day trip if you are a beach bum at heart at an hour car ride and an hour and a half subway ride.
stay active, there are two playgrounds, 26 basketball courts, volleyball, and handball. With two picnic areas, you can grab a spot to eat food from the snack bars or bring along food and munch while you enjoy the view of City Island.
Jacob Riss Park 1 hr, Queens, 40minSubway (from midtown)
Robert Moses State Park, Fire IslandLong Island, LIRR 1hr 30min (From Penn Station)
“The Peoples Beach” is a neighbor to Rockaway Beach and a perfect family day destination- especially if you love the beach and good food. Usually, not as super pack as Coney Island, this beach has a Brooklyn vibe (although it’s in Queens) with their many Brooklyn food favs. After spending most of the last year not being able to go out with the kids the family will love all the beach fun, food, and sweet treat options. Orchard Beach, Bronx, 1hr 45minSubway (from midtown)
This Robert Moses-designed beach is the Bronx’s only public beach, and it does not disappoint. At 115 acres, the beach includes a promenade, and for the kids who need to
This ocean beachfront entails hopping on the LIRR; by car, it is around the same time. This beach has options that are nice for a family beach day. This beach attracts 3.8 million visitors a year making it a popular destination for many. The shoreline is five miles with four fields. Why it is family-friendly is it is like a vacation packed in one day. Field 2 has a volleyball court. Fields 2,3, and 4 have picnic ars with picnic tables and grills. For a real East Coast treasure, check out Field 5 has a 3/4 walk that leads to the Fire Island Lighthouse; it also offers a spacious playground area for the kids. Parents: there are also private showers to rinse off that sand before you head home!
595 Prospect St., Maplewood, NJ 07040 This stunning home sits on an extremely rare 1/2 acre. 1/2 mile to the train station & Maplewood Village.
Enroll today! Enter code NYF21 to receive a 10% discount!
• 3 bedrooms (including master suite) • 2 fireplaces • Large finished basement with wine country-esque
Mark Slade & MaryCeu Nunes Realtor, ABR, CLHMS, SFAR
C: 917-797-5059 O: 973-762-5400 email@example.com
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
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family Day out
Top 13 Kid-Friendly Hikes Easy hiking trails for the whole family in New York and beyond By Patrick Delaney
Path, 1.7 miles
A nice and easy loop in New York’s most famous park. Fit for all skill levels, it provides a beautiful view of the reservoir for which the path is named. If you do not have the opportunity to get out of the city but still want to get some exercise with your family, you cannot go wrong with the convenience the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir Running Path provides.
Greenbelt Conservancy – Staten Island, NY Recommended Trail: Nature Center Trail, 1 mile
New York Botanical Garden – Bronx, NY Recommended Trail: The whole garden! 1.8 miles Price: $35/adult, $32/student, $15 children 2-12
ake a trip with your family at one (or more!) of these easy and kid-friendly hiking trails. Ranging from 1-3 miles- some are close to home while others a bit of a distance. Whatever adventure you want to go on, and however challenging you want to make, we have a hike for you and the family this summer!
Like a lot of the parks on this list, there’s a lot of trails worth adventuring on, but the Nature Center Trail is the one best suited for young hikers. A lot of the park’s programs have been canceled due to Covid, but supposedly they’re being reinstated April 29, so be on the lookout for more information on that. Until then, they still allow solitary hikes with proper social distancing. Pelham Bay Park – Bronx, NY Recommended Trail: Kazimiroff Nature Trail, 1.2 miles
This trial is a hidden gem, and being familyfriendly is there trademark. Whether you’re a family that loves to hike together or a family that wants to start getting into it, you should visit this park and explore together. Storm King State Park – Cornwall-onHudson, NY Recommended Trail: North Point Summit, 1.3 miles Price: Varies by number of people in car
Explore the mountain as safely as possible with this easy 1.3 mile trail. You get all the breathtaking views without any of the difficulty of climbing a mountain so the whole family, no matter their limitations, can enjoy the experience. Storm King is requiring ticket reservation at this time so remember that before you trek on out there. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir – Central Park, NY Recommended Trial: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir Running
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
The New York Botanical Garden has been going strong, hosting lots of different activities – both online and in person. More suited for strolling than for hiking, its beauty is undeniable and easily worth a trip for the whole family. Make sure you reserve a ticket before you go as they are very strict on the number of people allowed in at this time. Tenafly Nature Center Red, Yellow and White Trail Loop – Tenafly, NJ Recommended Trail: Red, Yellow and White Trail Loop, 2 miles
Travel right outside of the city and get this lost in nature. Tenafly has some fairly popular trails. Even though it’s a bit of a hike to get there, it’s worth it for the two mile loop of land free from the limitations of city regulation. Though technically not part of the easy New York hiking trails, it earns a spot on this list because of its proximity and its quality. Flat Rock Brook Nature Center – Englewood, NJ Recommended Trail: Flat Rock Brook Loop Trail, 2 miles
This trail is open to all skill levels, but be warned there can be some trying changes in elevation. Other than that it’s a perfectly pleasant hike and the Nature Center even hosts activities and camps, which you can check on their website for. Yet again, though not officially part of the easy New York hiking trails, once you get out there you’ll see why it earns a spot on this list.
Black Creek Preserve – Esopus, NY Recommended Trail: Yellow, Red, and Blue Trail, 2 miles
Despite there being a steep hill in the very beginning, it’s actually a pretty kid-friendly hike with lots of sights. There’s endangered species and the blueback herrings and alewives travel to Black Creek to deposit their eggs. If you’re even lucky, you could see a bald eagle! Once you get out of the city, it’s a little less than a two hour drive, so make sure you plan accordingly. Spook Rock via Gory Brook and Witch’s Spring Trail – Sleepy Hollow, NY Recommended Trail: With’s Spring Trail, 2 miles
Unsurprisingly, this path plays up the spookiness of being in Sleepy Hollow. On this hike you can explore the lore of Washington Irving’s writings and even come across a
witch’s shelter. It’s still at an okay skill level but a bit more of a moderate hike than the easier ones listed before. Tibbetts Brook Park Loop Trail – Yonkers, NY Recommended Trail: Loop Trail, 2.2 miles Price: $10 parking without pass
If you want a bit of a longer hike without having to travel far, then Tibbetts Brook Park has a wonderful trail for you. Though this park has a lot to offer with its bathhouse and aquatic complex, during the pandemic a leisurely but lengthy walk is always appreciated. Jack Harrington and White Plains Greenway – White Plains, NY Recommended Trail: Jack Harrington and White Plains Greenway ,2.5 miles
This path follows a railway, so it’s a simple straight shot. An easy there-and-back-again where its rudimentary structure is the appeal. You can even bring your dog with you, so long as you keep it on the leash. It’s not the most exciting park on this list, but if you are looking to try something new, then this is an appealing recommendation.
infrastructure… not to mention a great photo-op. Harriman State Park – Sloatsburg, NY Recommended Trail: Arden-Surebridge Trail, 3 miles
Croton Gorge Park – Cortlandt, NY Recommended Trail: Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, 26.5 miles Price: $10 parking without pass
Harriman State Park has lots of trails for hikers of all skill levels. The recommended Arden Surebridge Trail is three miles which might be pushing it for the little kids. But for those that are filled with energy, it’s still an easy hike. If you don’t decide on using this one, check out Harriman’s other numerous trails.
Croton Gorge Park is a sprawling 97 acres, so there’s plenty to explore and hike on. Marvel at the dam and spillway via the trail with direct access to New York State’s Old Croton Aqueduct. Obviously you don’t have to walk the whole 26.5 miles to enjoy it as every fraction of the route is gorgeous. It’s a pristine blend of natural beauty and human
And that’s the list of kid-friendly and easy New York hiking trails! Obviously there’s fun parks all around the state — some with trails and some just pleasant to peruse. The important thing is that you and your family go outside and have fun together. These are just some options that I hope you’ll consider! June 2021 | New York Family
ROAD TRIPS Pack up the car, hop on a train and visit these fun spots! BY DONNA DUARTE�LADD
e all have memories from our childhood of the trips we took with our family; being kids, we remember only the funny and good stuff. Now that we’re parents, we know that while road trips can be intense, especially with younger kids, this time together bonds us and will be part of the fabric of our children’s memories. A discovery we may have always known as we make our way out of the pandemic is that New York and the cities and states surrounding our hometown are full of beauty, history, and adventure. Here is to a summer of awe and travel with these must road trips for Summer 2021.
Catskills, NY A recent trip my family took was to the Catskills. There were a few things that went through my mind when I visited the Catskills. One, we need to do this more—two, what an easy trip it is. And three, Woah, can the Catskills be even more beautiful? And while New York is reopening and there are many things to do, why I loved our road trip to the Catskills was that it was something we could do even as the world was in a crazy state. Of course, it is always nice to visit places and try the food, but nature alone in the Catskills is a sight. First, we took a hike, literally. There are many hiking trails TRAVEL TIP: For a family-friendly in the Catskills, and my mom’s tip is to check hike, check out Mountain Top out the Great Northern Catskills’ website Arboretum, a public garden nestled (greatnortherncatskills.com) to find the trail in the Catskill Mountains where kids that works for your family. While nature is can explore native plant communisupreme in Greene County, I have a list of ties, natural meadows, wetlands, what we will be visiting this summer. Top and of course, hike the forest. on this list is horseback riding, more hiking trails, food tasting at the restaurants, and taking our oldest son on a camping trip or staying at one of the family resorts. Yay for summer upstate!
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
June 2021 | New York Family
Annapolis, Maryland Since the pandemic, one sneaky parenting move I have been doing with the kids is picking fun spots to visit that are also full of history. Annapolis is TrAvel Tip: Be sure to make time just the ticket. The to head over to the Bannekercar ride is about 3.5 Douglass Museum of African hours (starting from American history and culture, Midtown). Go for focusing on the history of Maryland. a long weekend or make it a family vacation and spend the week, as there’s plenty to do. We love to stay downtown at one of their charming beds, breakfasts, historic inns, or hotels. We park the car and explore on foot since Annapolis is a walkable town. First stop, City Dock. We enjoy watching the boats parade along Ego Alley. If your family loves being on the water, take a 40-minute harbor cruise or a sail on the historic skipjack, the Wilma Lee. For fun with the older kids, you can also rent kayaks or stand-up paddle boards. With 533 miles of shoreline, Annapolis and Anne Arundel County offer endless opportunities for on-the-water fun. When it’s time to feed the kids, hop aboard a water taxi for a quick ride to a delish meal along Restaurant Row and visit the Annapolis Maritime Museum and Park; it just reopened with a new state-of-theart exhibition, Our Changing Waterfront, that the kids the Declaration of Independence signer William Paca and adore. Don’t miss the Maryland State House – the oldest stop by for a tour of the U.S. Naval Academy! To plan your in continuous legislative use in the nation; the home of trip check out visitannapolis.org!
Hudson County, NJ If looking for a day trip or a long weekend getaway with the fam this summer — you’re going to want to check out Hudson County, New Jersey. With education and history (and fun!) being a theme TrAvel Tip: If, like me, you of these road trips, Hudson County (NJ) appreciate a well-planned map, is on point. For your skater kid, head over you’ll love these helpful road to one of the many skate parks (Bayonne, trip itinerary maps that can be Hoboken, Jersey City, Union City, and downloaded. I have my eye on West New York) so they can show off the map that educates and traces their backside moves. There are plenty of New Jersey’s Black Heritage in gorgeous parks for the little ones — Pier A Northern New Jersey and the Hoboken, North Hudson Braddock Park, Warren Heritage and Western Hamilton Park Weehawken, to name just Highlands: New Jersey Scenic Byways, but there are plenty a few. My favorite for the entire family is more to choose from. Go to Liberty State Park, situated on the Hudson visithudson.org/nj-road-tripRiver. The family (bring the stroller for itinerary to pick your road map. the wee ones) can walk the two-mile Liberty Walk promenade with views of the One World Trade Center and Battery Park. When it’s time to rest or eat lunch, eat at the Liberty House Restaurant and take in the scene on the waterfront. And bringing that education and history theme into the trip, hop on a ferry via Statue Cruises and visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Liberty Science Center, the immersive, hands-on science museum is l. With so much to do in Hudson County, NJ — check out all the attractions, places to eat delicious food at visithudson.org.
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
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June 2021 | New York Family
Poconos Mountains (northeast Pennsylvania’s Carbon, Monroe, Pike, and Wayne counties)
If looking for a summer trip in the mountains, a Poconos visit needs to be in your future. This beauty is right out of a fairytale book with non-stop TRavel TiP: Want to make more mountain terrain, of a commitment to your sumrivers, waterfalls, mer vacation in the Poconos and and woodlands. visit year-round? I can’t blame While popular you. The Sérénité (ownserenite. in the winter, the com) is a private residence club summer in Poconos at Camelback Mountain. The is just as gorgeous Sérénité has created a hybrid and fun. There are vacation program where your 261 miles of bike new vacation home includes and hiking trails as luxe amenities, a clubhouse, and well as fishing and more. Yes, please! boating. Families can also visit the nine state parks and two National Parks. There are many camping options for families to pitch a tent and enjoy the outdoors as well. If kids need a break from nature (yeesh, I know only kids would need a nature break), your youngest kids will love checking out the giraffes so much to do in the Poconos, so definitely check out at claws n paws or learning about the history of local poconomountains.com to map out your family road trip art at the Antoine Dutot Museum & Gallery. There is to the Poconos.
Rockland County, NY When you live in the city, a road trip can also mean a day trip. And after one crazy year, re-exploring is on the top of so many of our to-do lists this summer. Rockland is only one hour away from the city by car. You can also go by bus in the same amount of time. The first stop you should check out is beautiful Piermont, where I would immediately be happy to move to ASAP and live the rest of my years in this scenic town. Located on the riverside, kids will love the Piermont Piers. You can make an appointment at Paradise Canoe and Kayak. com/for a guided tour or sailing lesson in July and August (paradisecanoeandkayak.com). Although the vibe is a small town, there are amazing restaurants and quaint shopping in Piermont; if looking TRavel TiP: Right over the Mario Cuomo Bridge is to engross the family in nature, West Nyack, where the popular Palisades Center can head over to Harriman State be found. With safety measures in place, this four-level Park, where you’ll find 31 lakes shopping center offers 225 brands all in one spot. I can and reservoirs, hiking trails, find all my favorites here (Sephora, Zara, and H&M) as beaches, and camping sites. For well as my go-to stores for the kids (Target, Vans, and the big kids, walk the new 12Old Navy), which means hello back to school shopping. foot wide path at the Governor And now that Covid restrictions are opening back up, Mario M. Cuomo bridge. There here are some of the activity places now open: 5 Wits, are six scenic overlooks to take Aim Point, AMC Theatres, Autobahn Indoor Speedway, in, and the path is 3.1 miles. And Billy Beez, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Palisades Center before heading out on your trip Carousel, Color Me Mine, Palisades Center Ferris check out nyboulders.com to see Wheel, Game Show Room, Glitter & Glam, Levity Live, Mystery Room, OMG Entertainment, Palisades Ice Rink, if there is a game on the schedule Palisades Climb Adventure/Sky Tykes Ropes Course, of The New York BouldersSpace Adventure Glow in the Dark Mini Golf, Spin Zone Rockland’s own American inand opening Soon - Lucky Strike and Exo Drome. dependent professional baseball team!
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
If checking the mail is “getting out of the house”, it’s time to get away.
Experience a day or weekend of adventure. Take a guided tour. Visit our world-class art museums. Relax and play. Enjoy fine cuisine. Then, unwind at one of our official hotels. Make memories knowing we’re abiding by CDC guidelines for your safety. Book direct with an official Colonial Williamsburg Hotel for up to two complimentary length-of-stay admission tickets.
Book your getaway.
Welcoming Guests Since 1937
Visit colonialwilliamsburg.org/nyfam or call 1-844-207-8168 to learn more.
June 2021 | New York Family
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia My husband grew up on road trips, and to this day, we drive all over the country. This summer, we want to focus on the ‘summer slide’ and head over to spots like Colonial Williamsburg. The largest outdoor living museum in the country, the family, through immersive and authentic TraVel Tip: For more ways to 18th-century enjoy Colonial Williamsburg, plan experiences, can your visit, get your tickets, and learn everything map out your stay by visiting from this time colonialwilliamsburg.org. period this summer. Put your mask on and stroll through the unique art museums like the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Afterward, enjoy lunch at the museum café, explore the garden, take a carriage ride, all while learning about this time in history.
putnam, NY Road trips are nothing like the movies unless it is the sort of flick where you stop every half hour at a rest stop to use the bathroom a million times. And, yes, the kids need to be entertained 24/7. At an hour and twenty-ish car drive, Putnam County makes for a perfect family trip. As New York reopens, Putnam is a pleasant visit if you seek an area with beautiful nature and plenty to do outdoors. There are gorgeous lakes to visit, such as Lake Canopus in Fahnestock Park, where you can enjoy a picnic lunch and soak up the warm sun. If taking the train, take the metro north train from Grand Central, which will take you right to Brewster, bikes are allowed on the train, and you can start exploring right when you arrive. If looking for activities for your TraVel Tip: For the history younger kids, check buffs in the family, a must-visit out the self-guided is the West Point Foundry tour (10 am to 4 Preserve. Check out the first pm, seven days a steam engines, locomotives, and week) at Tilly Foster pipes used for New York’s water Farm to get a look system. There are even cannons at the farm animals. from the Civil War and trails After you spend that lead to foundry buildings the day running that teach about the Industrial around, there are Revolution and Civil War. plenty of delicious food options. From Mexican, Italian, Japanese to a good ole hamburger — there is something for even the pickiest family member.
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
Summer is made for Getaways!
Explore the village shops of Rockland County. Experience the history of the Hudson Valley at our cultural centers and museums. Enjoy beautiful vistas onto the river, up to the mountains, and into nature. For a Great Getaway that’s not far away, make your next…
DestinationRockland.com June 2021 | New York Family
Lexington, Massachusetts If looking for a road trip where you can go on tours every day, Lexington in Massachusetts is a great city to visit. While history buffs will enjoy just walking through this historiTRaveL Tip: A Lexington trip must! Before your visit, cal town, the tours check out tourlexington.us for the Liberty Ride Trolley are an excellent way Tour which is set to open soon after a pause due to for the kids to learn COVID. The Liberty Ride trolley tour is a 1.5 hour guided about The Battles of trolley tour of both Lexington and Concord. Once onboard Lexington and Conthe Liberty Ride, you’ll again be transported back in time cord, the first battles to the 1770s, where you’ll learn about the events that led to be fought in the up to April 19, 1775, and beyond as you travel through American RevoluLexington Minuteman National Park and Concord. Upon tion. Take a guided arrival in Concord, you’ll take a momentary detour into one-hour Battle the 1800s to learn about Concord’s famous authors – Emerson, Thoreau, and Alcott. You’ll learn about Paul Green tour or selfRevere’s famous midnight ride, visit the spot where he was guided phone tour captured by the British, and so much more. of Lexington Battle Green and The Old Burying Ground, which dates back to 1690. For a short (35 min) but incredible tour, visit the Buckman Tavern where locals and travelers would gather and have town meetings. Visit tourlexington.us for more places to map out your trip!
Rhinebeck, NY My tip on Rhinebeck? You need to know Rhinebeck. This town was the first road trip I took years before I had kids; I immediately envisioned moving from the city to this fabulous town. Alas, I never did, but I visit the quaint village a few times a year for its excellent shops, tight-knit community, and restaurants. Visit for the day by car or train and soak in the laid-back vibes of Rhinebeck. If going for a few days or a week, make sure to look into the local Airbnb rentals. Or stay at the quaint The Gables at Rhinebeck Inn or if your family vacation, make it about self-care, and stay the week at the Mirbeau Inn & Spa Rhinebeck. I also love that you can jump into a yoga class at the famous TRaveL Tip: Go to the Dutchess County Fair! There is Mirbeau Inn & Spa simply no other fair like the Dutchess County Fair. While Rhinebeck while the there will be tweaks due to COVID, the fair is back after family checks out the understandably canceling last year. Expect to see anisights. Other mustmals, games, and the food that we all love. Known as stops are the Northern the most significant agricultural six-day fair in New York Dutchess Botanical State — this fair is what many New Yorkers and people Gardens to gawk or all over wait all year to visit. It is the greatest if not the shop for some gorgeous most famous fair in the world. Dates: 8/24-8/29, visit plants. Drayton Grant dutchessfair.com for more information. Park at Burger Hill, a 76-acre park where you can see the Hudson River and a majestic view of both the Catskill and Taconic Mountiocs. Don’t forget the camera!
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
June 2021 | New York Family
The Best Styles of Jeans for Moms
By Donna Duarte-LaDD
his past year of living in a pandemic, many of us moms have found ourselves in multiple roles and wanting to be as comfortable AF. Now Summer is around the corner and with New York back open, we are shelving the sweats (kind of) and getting out. There is one style staple coming out strong, and this is the jean. But what is the best pair of jeans for you? Frankly, finding jeans this season has never been easier because they are everywhere. The challenging part is finding the right pair. When choosing the best jean, it should be about fit, budget, and what works for your day-to-day, especially if you will be wearing that new pair 24/7. Here are 5 styles perfect for moms right now.
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
Straight Jeans If you have been feeling like you are living through the ’90s again. You’re not wrong. The 90s styles, especially in denim, are huge right now. And while this style can be pretty comfy, the best way to wear it IRL is to have it be a bit more streamlined. Meaning skip the jeans that hit the pavement and may pass as a skirt and choose a straight leg that works with your body type and life.
The Wide Leg Jean A big jean style comeback is a wide leg. A wide leg can feel a bit overwhelming, but simply put, it is the cut that is refined. Style the wide leg with everything from a basic tee and sandals or a flowery blouse and slides. Choose a wide leg at a medium to the high waist; this way, the style will elongate the legs, bring in the waist and hug in all the right spots.
FAMILY F UN IS
The 175th Dutchess County Fair Rhinebeck, NY August 24 - August 29 Children 11 And Under ARE FREE AT ALL TIMES
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Skinny/Slim Jeans First, the skinny is not over. Well, maybe it’s on pause, but it’s not goodbye. Sure it isn’t the hot thing right now, but it has earned its spot by being worn and adorn by many, especially moms. It deserves to be deemed a classic. To wear the skinny style now is to update it a bit in the current style you see in jean wearing. Choose a slim fit that is mid to high-waisted; this will create that long-leg look, and, as we mentioned before, the high waist will slim the waist a bit. An ankle cut or a slim cut that does not hug the bottom leg will flatter all body types.
The Mom Jean Circling back to 90s jeans, this is when a style that many have mocked (SNL) has now become a classic and a downright denim winner. There are many variations to the mom jean, but it is a high-waisted fit, roomy in the thigh area with a slightly tapered leg. It has a boyfriend jean vibe but with less of the slouch and is easier to dress down or up. This pair of jean is pretty popular and is here to stay.
Sustainable Jean Lines In high demand, denim takes a tremendous amount of water and chemicals, damaging to the environment. Many brands are now designing and producing jeans that make a smaller imprint on the environment. Whether it’s using less water or producing jeans made from recycled denim, these brands are committed to being eco-friendly. The best part is they are implementing a practice that other brands are starting to follow.
SPEND YOUR SUMMER ON THE FIELD AS A LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY SHARK! Students are invited to develop their skills under the guidance of NCAA Division I coaches and learn what it takes to become a D-I athlete while having fun. Camps are open to students of all levels.
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Visit LIU.EDU/SPORTS-CAMPS for more information including camp dates and details.
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
Check out our new site! We’ve given our New York Family website a major makeover
Visit newyorkfamily.com to check it out and sign up for our weekly newsletters! June 2021 | New York Family
Father’s Day Honor your favorite human with these NYC experiences BY JANA BEAUCHAMP
e on the lookout for super dads everywhere this Father’s Day, June 20! There’s no better way to celebrate than with some special adventurous and fun NYC Father’s Day experiences, in person or virtually, while supporting local NYC venues and businesses! Super dads, grandpas, uncles, or other father figures are sure to have the best Father’s Day ever with these memorable experiences for every type of dad. The Brooklyn Zoo is hosting a special Father’s Day parent/child obstacle course! Dads will love that parents will participate alongside the children in parkour and training activities, and that the classes are geared to strengthen the body and bond between parent and child. Dads will also love that for each child, the parent comes for free so get ready for some ninja warrior-like fun from 11am-3 pm this Father’s Day! Go Glamping at Collective Governors Island for a Father’s Day retreat. Dads will love the significant open space between the individual luxury accommodations, al fresco gourmet day-to-night dining spaces, soaring peaked lodges, welcoming campfires, and gathering commons. For the dad that loves to grill, there are grills on-site that guests can access for a Father’s Day BBQ. For the dad that wants to get away with the family, the Journey Plus tents features an adjacent traditional Journey Tent, which can accommodate up to two children. For the foodie dad, the retreat offers extensive luxury culinary offerings including a chef’s tasting menu at their signature restaurant Three Peaks Lodge and culinary explorations. For the dad who just wants to relax, retreat guests can enjoy an array of complimentary morning mindfulness, meditation, and yoga sessions that start at 9am daily. Manhattan Kayak is sure to rock dad’s boat with their Father’s Day Specials for the Skyline Trip and Rent in the Cove. Dads will love that the Skyline Trip (13+) offers eye-popping panoramic views of Manhattan’s skyline and lets
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
dads feel the ocean vibes. Families learn some quick basics on land and then embark with the guide for 45 minutes on the river in easy sit-on-top kayaks. Prepare to cover 1 mile on this made-forbeginners hour-long trip to see the panoramic skyline of NYC. Rent in the Cove (3+). Is an ideal and affordable outing for families, kids, and dogs and lets families enjoy a 45-minute rental in the cove along the Intrepid for kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. Enjoy the calm water between the Pier 84 Boathouse and the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier. Plus, any father who attends the Skyline Kayak Trip or Kayak Rentals receives a free $50 gift card. Adventurous dads are sure to love Williamsburg’s brand new Adventure Park. It is fun for dads and kids of all ages! One 3-hour session includes unlimited use of a high ropes course, zip line, slides, climbing walls, roller skating, ninja course, laser maze, arcade games, and more. They offer concessions at the location, as well as skate rentals for those who did not bring them. They can accommodate all ages with an under 48” play section and spectator rooms for non-players. Whatever dad’s favorite adrenaline hit is, they have something for him at the Adventure Park! Watson Adventure is hosting its magical family Wizard School Virtual Scavenger Hunt on Father’s Day! Grab your wands for an adventure that takes you to museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art across America
Fun in search of art that echoes characters, places, and magical objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies. No, you won’t need the Weasleys’ flying car: You’ll sit at your home computer, join your teammates via Zoom, and use the Watson Adventures online app to get clues, pop onto museum websites, and search for answers to fun, tricky questions on this virtual scavenger hunt. This hunt is suitable for ages 10 and up. Kids and adults will enjoy playing the game together. The game is one hour long and available to the general public on Father’s Day at 3pm or can be booked for private groups just about any time. They don’t usually offer games on Sundays, but are doing so because of Father’s Day! Little Island is open and has a fun-filled and free Father’s Day agenda! Dads will love this new and exciting island escape and letting the fam plan ahead to enjoy one of the special events. Head to The Glades at 3pm as The New Victory Theater hosts New Victory LabWorks, a space where emerging BIPOC artists experiment and create work. This series provides a behind-the-scenes look at how artists create and develop family programming for the stage. On Sunday nights at 7pm in The Glade, Little
Seaport Cinema is returning to The Greens on The Rooftop at Pier 17 this summer and has a kids’ night on June 21 featuring Moana. Seaport Cinema offers an iconic under-the-stars movie theater experience surrounded by unbeatable views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. Each reservation will include a bucket of Bubbly seltzers and popcorn and any additional food and drink can be ordered from The Greens. Reservations will begin at 8pm for an 8:30pm movie start and can be made on Tock. Dads will also love that they can show their Seaport Cinema reservation at the Heineken Riverdeck kiosks for $3 off a Heineken can 1 hour before reservation time.
(Clockwise from far left) Seaport Cinema at The Greens on The Rooftop at Pier 17, the Circle Line, Roll-A-Rama Runway Rink at the TWA Hotel, Glamping at Collective Governors Island, Amazing Escape Room Island invites family audiences to engage with a variety of art forms including music, puppetry, comedy, shadow play, and more. It’s a great way to close out your weekend and fun for all ages. Head to The Amph at 8pm for a mustsee as Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV) Founder and Little Island Artist-in-Residence Michael McElroy brings his love of gospel and Broadway music together for a night of joy and celebration in his farewell concert. Golf with dad and help him perfect his golf swing at Flushing Meadows Pitch and Putt. Dads will love choosing their golf adventure, playing the 18 hole “Pitch & Putt” golf course or the modern mini-golf course with water falls, bridges and streams or both! Dads and kids alike will love that both courses are fully lighted for night play. Perfect for novice and experienced golfers alike, the golf course allows experienced golfers to sharpen up their short game and allows inexperienced golfers an introduction to the wonderful game of golf. Enjoy a plane-spotting staycation at The TWA Hotel with an experience at the new Roll-A-Rama Runway Rink. Families wanting to head to the Pool and Pool Bar for Father’s Day brunch/ lunch, should look to book an overnight stay for the night of June 20 (as pool/Pool Bar reservations are made for the date of arrival).
After you’ve maxed out on the roller rink and pool/pool bar, explore the interactive pop-up museum exhibits curated by The New York Historical Society, such as an authentic recreation of a 1962 living room and period-perfect remakes of Eero Saarinen’s drafting table and Howard Hughes’s office. The Paris Café by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and The Sunken Lounge are also great dining options. Amazing Escape Room is open for in-person and virtual escape the room experiences for Father’s Day. Whether going down the rabbit hole, searching for the grail, finding the gold rush, or getting lost in space, there is a room full of fun waiting for dad and everyone. Dads will love that they are running a 20% off code, FUN20, in honor of Father’s Day. In time for Father’s Day, Circle Line offers six classic cruise options for unique takes on the extraordinary New York City skyline in an alfresco adventure like no other. Dads will love that it is perfect for all ages and families can look forward to an authentic and iconic New York City experience on every cruise, with comfortable seating and entertaining tour guides relating surprising details of landmarks, New York City trivia, and history. There’s a cruise for all types of dads and kids, including the Landmarks Cruise, Best of NYC, Harbor Lights, Liberty Cruise, Liberty Super Express, and The Beast (New York’s only jetpowered speedboat attraction).
Lightbox Games is currently hosting NYC’s first -ever live game show, Game of 1000 Boxes, and Dads will love this part game show, part audio-visual thrill ride. The interactive experience offers teams of four a series of challenges ranging from the absurd to the sublime. Lightbox’s 360-degree digital projections ensure a highly participatory show. Dad and his family team up IRL for a rollercoaster of high-energy party games that blend teamwork, reaction time, solving puzzles, trivia, social strategy, and lots more. Teams will work together to win the coveted mystery box. Dads will step into the projection-mapped venue, drenched in 360° visuals, for a 1-hour long experience with a dozen ever-evolving games. Kick Axe has axe throwing open to kids 8+, so it’s a super fun (and unique) family activity! Dads will love that if kids aren’t able to stick the axe, they are more than welcome to throw foam axes and score wherever they hit the target. This way they can compete with the adults. Dads will also love that it is a gorgeous axe throwing lodge in Brooklyn with an outdoor patio. Release dad’s inner lumberjack for some Kick Axe fun with friends and family in honor of Father’s Day. They’re offering booking and gift card discounts to give dad the ultimate gift! Get 10% off your Father’s Day booking with the code “DAD.” Or, purchase gift vouchers (15% off) for later use with the code “GIFT4DAD.” Axe throwing is safe for ages 8+. There’s so much new and tried and true fun to be had with NYC opening back up. You can also explore the new Legoland, head to a Yankees or Mets game, or visit dad’s favorite steak or BBQ joint and so much more to have a very Happy Father’s Day! June 2021 | New York Family
Smart and easy ways to upgrade your home this year By Donna Duarte-LaDD
f during the pandemic you had the overwhelming urge to nest, you are not alone. I personally channeled my inner interior designer and painted, wallpapered, and moved furniture every day. The desire to love my space became part of my daily mental state. Now the world is opening up again (yay), sunshine is seeping through the windows, and I am still at it. And most likely, so are you. Whether you are changing things up in the home you have owned pre-babies or just moved to the suburbs — there are ways
7 paint colors that brighten up a room What paint hues brighten up a room? We asked the experts at Wallauer Paint Hardware and Design (wallauer. com), headquartered in White Plains, New York, to shortlist what paints brighten a room up.
Benjamin Moore Excalibur Gray. While this color is on the lighter side, its grayed-out lilac hue is perfect to create an almost neutral moody feel— this color in a relaxing tone-on-tone bedroom. Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray. It is not too gray and not too light, and it has a nice mix of warmth and coolness, so it is highly adaptable to fit
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
any style home or design theme.
Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. It is a very crisp white and really makes a statement. This shade of white is perfect for a modern Farmhouse or a more traditional home and pairs wonderfully with cool shades like blue or purple. Benjamin Moore Victorian Mauve. A light dusty mauve that is soft, soothing, and impactful. A great option not only for a living room, but a girl’s bedroom transitioning into her teens. It is a classic and timeless color.” Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee. This color is grounding, yet adaptable. It
sets the perfect foundation for nearly any color palette and works as a gentle neutral. “It gives your home a deeper, more relaxed feel than a basic white or off-white paint. Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray. When it comes to painting a living room. If white is too plain, color is too bold, and beige is too warm, you will not find a more fitting option than a gray like this. “It’s a light, cool color that works really well in both modern and traditional rooms. Benjamin Moore Polaris Blue. A perfect French blue. It’s vibrant with a subtle gray undertone that keeps it understated and relaxing—just what you want your bathroom or master bedroom to feel like.
Furniture statement pieces
You have given your favorite space an upgrade; now, what sort of furniture pieces should you add? We checked in with Country Willow Home (countrywillow.com) in Bedford, New York, for design pro tips on elevating your space with essential furniture pieces.
Key furniture pieces to invest in when you are changing up the family room
to makeover your space with a few coats of paint for a brighter home. So in the spirit of being realistic about your time and money. Here are some ideas on updating one room or spot in your home. Paint a space for an instant lift I love a nice white painted wall, and frankly, I have to get talked into a new paint color every few years. If you have the same ‘challenge’ pick one area you feel needs a bit of life, choose a color that you haven’t tried before, and paint away. Once the new color hits the wall, it is a welcoming refresh and may inspire you to paint more rooms. Change up the wooden stairs with a bright color This is one of my favorites, and while it can be a bit tedious, the payoff is tremendous. First, give your stairs a refresh of a base coat or apply a new base coat. Then using painter’s tape — tape the seams of the stairs, basically at the parts you don’t want to get any paint on. Make sure you paint over the tape, so you have clean lines after the paint dries and the tape is removed. Finally, using a Semi-Gloss, paint the stairs, dry, repeat, and voila! Colorblock for a room upgrade You have the painter’s tape, so why not fun up the bathroom wall, kids’ room, or the bathroom with color blocking. Color
blocking can go from simple to a bit more intricate. Thankfully, there are many tutorials online that can help you with the more artsy color blocking. I like to first use a yardstick to pencil in the line, then outline it with painter’s tape. I stick to triangles or more geometric shapes as they are frankly the easiest to do. Tip: Your color blocking doesn’t have to be in geometric shapes. You can paint half the wall, half a circle, or a square on the wall. I have even used color blocking in place of a faux ‘headboard’ for my oldest son’s first toddler room. Paint a chalkboard wall Are your kids at an age where they are drawing on the walls? Listen, it happens, and kids should not be drawing on the walls. But giving them a fun canvas where it is allowed will minimize if not stop the tagging altogether on your precious walls. I have had chalkboard paint on the kitchen door, covered half a wall, and at one point, an entire wall in the kids’ bedroom. What I love most about it is it looks chic and really can change up a space. Chalkboard paint comes in an array of colors; I love classic black. Tip: Before you paint your chalkboard wall, make sure the wall is smooth. I will use sandpaper or wipe the wall clean before applying the first coat. Also, I have never gotten away with just one coat; usually, you will need to do at least two coats.
The two most important pieces for a family room are seating and the entertainment center. Sectionals, the most popular choice for family rooms, have large sizes and flexible configurations to give each member of the family comfort and space. When shopping for sectionals for a family room, consider investing in performance fabrics. Performance fabrics give you some additional piece of mind when it comes to spills and stains, making it easier to clean. The construction of the frame and suspension for the cushions is also important considering that a family room is a busy place! Entertainment centers have evolved since TV’s are increasing in size and are considered a little more disposable. In lieu of large built-in TV cabinets, entertainment centers have moved to more of a center console with tall bookcases for storage. This gives you a cleaner look with lots of storage.
Design tricks when upgrading a nursery into a toddler room Look for furniture that grows with your child. If space is a challenge, there are some great loft options that can give you more floor space for playing, and as they grow you can raise the bed to a bunk with a desk and storage space under the bed! Many parents are also skipping “toddler” furniture and getting higher quality furniture that can last through childhood. It is a better investment and can provide more flexibility throughout the years. When shopping for any room, be sure to bring dimensions and photos with you so you can get an expert’s advice.
June 2021 | New York Family
16 Inclusive Playgrounds New York spots with features for kids with special needs
the nature surrounding the park. Everything is very accessible including a basketball court and walking area, making it a place everyone in the family can enjoy. Matthew P. Sapolin Playground W 70th St, New York, NY,
Jurassic Playground Meadow Lake Dr. & Meadow Lake Trail Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Forest Hills, NY
Formerly called Playground 70, the Matthew P. Sapolin Playground is a fully accessible park that kids can enjoy no matter what capabilities they have. It has a children’s garden with accessible bridges, musical instruments built into the play area, and basketball hoops with adjustable backstops for those in wheelchairs. It’s one of the top inclusive playgrounds in the city, and will be a joy for any family to visit.
If your kids love dinosaurs and want to go to the park, this is the perfect combination that anyone can enjoy. Jurassic Playground honors the Jurassic period for which it’s named with images and structures dedicated to all kinds of dinosaurs. The playground is also equipped with safety surfacing and other play equipment that makes the park accessible to most any kid.
Robert Bendheim Playground 1184 5th Ave, New York, NY
Laurelton Playground 136-20 Brookville Blvd, Jamaica, NY
The Robert Bendheim Playground is located in Central Park, and has been recently renovated to better meet safety and accessibility standards. It has many inclusive features including adaptive swings, water features, sand tables, and sound generating play structures to help stimulate kids’ senses. Everything there is meant to be universally accessible for any kid to enjoy.
Laurelton Playground is a brightly colored park with play cars and structures that everyone can enjoy. The padded ground and flat surfaces make the area accessible for any kid to play in. It has several sensory activities and cars that will make kids feel like they’re on a real road. The car theme opens your kids’ imagination and allows them to explore the park in a more unique way.
Dutch Kills Playground 36th Avenue &, Crescent St, LIC, NY
Elizabeth Stroud Playground Stuyvesant Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Dutch Kills Playground is an excellent location to take kids, especially those who need more open space or sensory activities. This playground includes several spinning features as well as things your kids can touch and learn from. It has padded flooring to avoid injuries and also features open spaces where your kids can run and create their own fun.
Elizabeth Stroud Playground is a bright boat themed park that will stimulate your kids creativity and allow them to play no matter what their accessibility limits are. It is full of interactive gears and the entire play structure is shaped like a boat allowing your kids to be pirates and sailors. Your kids will have a great time in this playground with endless ways to be entertained.
By AnAliese DoDD
ith Summer around the corner you may be finding yourself at the park more than ever. If a parent with a child with special needs we put together a round-up of inclusive playgrounds where your kids will be able to enjoy the outdoors. These playgrounds all have features that are accessible that all kids can enjoy. They provides safety features to minimize injuries and allow everyone to enjoy their trip. Their play structures will stimulate your kids creativity and give them a fun activity where they can safely be themselves and run free. Manhattan
Bloomingdale Park 907 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY
Bloomingdale Park is praised as one of the best inclusive playgrounds in all of New York. It has a large flat playground with cushioned flooring and safety fences. The beautiful train shaped play area is full of exciting sensory activities that are available to all kids with a splash area nearby. There is also a basketball court and grass area open for every kid to enjoy. East 110th Street Playground 14 East 60th St, New York
East 110th Street has a simple flat playground that every kid can easily have access to. This Central Park playground is focused on fostering imagination and creativity with its simple wooden structures and water displays that can become anything in your kids’ minds. The structures have accessible ramps and a layout that make it exciting for any kid to play around in. Little Flower Playground Madison St. &, Jefferson St, New York
The Little Flower Playground is the perfect place to take your kids out for some beautiful scenery to accompany their playing. The playground is surrounded by lovely trees, and the design of the play structures also honors
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
cognitive, sensory and motor activity for every kid.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park: Playground for all Children 11101 Corona Ave., Corona, NY
Sandbox Village at Pier 6 334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY
The Playground for All Children was one of the first inclusive playgrounds constructed in the United States, and has been the model for many more after it. The playground was designed to accommodate children using wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, and more. It also has play structures that stimulate social,
If your kids love playing in the sand and you want to see what other kinds of inclusive playgrounds are in the city, this play area will entertain them for hours with tons of fun sand activities. This soft sand will engage your kids’ senses and allow them to let out their creativity with the freedom to form
anything they can make up in their minds. There are plenty of water elements and fun structures to give kids a fun day out. the Bronx the Imagination Playground 145th Street & St. Ann’s Avenue, Bronx, NY
The Imagination Playground is a revolutionary idea thought of by architect David Rockwell to foster creativity and individuality. The playground was designed to be like a trunk full of treasures with playing blocks and other movable objects so your kids can make the experience fun for them. There are several Imagination Playgrounds in every borough, so you’ll be sure to find one close to your area. Pelham Bay Park: Playground for All Children 5001, 3533 Bruckner Blvd, The Bronx, NY
Similar to the playground in Flushing
Meadows Corona Park, this Playground for All Children was created specifically to accommodate kids who are in need of inclusive playgrounds. This location has several sensory activities for kids to get involved with, and easy access for kids with wheelchairs and crutches. They also have adjustable basketball hoops, water features, and beautiful scenery to make the trip fun for everyone.
Bay Park 199 4th Ave, East Rockaway, NY
Bay Park was recently renovated in 2014 following superstorm Sandy, and has included accessibility features to make their playground available to everyone. They have a spray area and several sensory play features that will stimulate your kids’ mind while they have loads of fun. The ground is flat with no lips in order to allow wheelchairs easy access to all features.
Long IsLAnd Andrew J. Parise Park: Boundless Playground 257 Cedarhurst Ave, Cedarhurst, NY
eisenhower Park: Let All the Children Play Accessible Playground 1899 Park Blvd, Westbury, NY This
The Boundless Playground at Andrew J. Parise Park is one of the inclusive playgrounds that focuses on safety and fun for everyone. They have an accessible sprinkler area and ramps on all of their play structures to make sure kids can have limitless fun. They also have a small rock climbing wall, interactive play features, and other ground level play structures that kids can enjoy.
accessible playground is one of the largest in the area where every kid can have a good time. This park has dozens of brightly colored play structures meant to be inclusive for all while giving them tons of fun options. There’s a wheelchair accessible merry-goround, adaptive swings, climbing structures and plenty of other fun activities to give your kids a full day of fun. June 2021 | New York Family
Janet Bloom of Curious G and Me
On curiosity, diversity, and the list of NYC kid-friendly spots you’ll need for an adventure-filled summer By Mia Salas
ummer is back on here in New York! For this issue, we spent a fun day on Coney Island with Janet Bloom of Curious G and Me. Janet is an NYC mother, digital creator, and communications consultant, and she and her family are all about trying new things. I love that Janet inspires readers of her website and Instagram to get out and have fun with educational kidfriendly adventures. Janet, her hubs of 10 years, Josh, and daughter G, share everything from NYC must-visits to style-inspo and even delicious eats and treats, all packed with personal stories that bring these guides to life. Janet also shares why she enjoys living and raising her daughter in such a diverse city. She talks about how the current turmoil of racism against the AAPI community affects her family and then how she explains the violence to her daughter. I chatted with Janet on her NYC adventures, the creative and engaging ways she shares these experiences, and why they are so important for kids and adults alike. Okay, we’re obsessed with your IG feed that is definitely #momanddaughtergoals. How did you decide that you wanted to start blogging about your life in NYC, both on your website Curious G and Me and on social media? Oh my, thank you! But, first and foremost, I would like to note that I would never call us Mom and Daughter goals! Obviously what you see on IG is such a small fraction of our lives and much lies beneath the surface, but I AM happy to provide inspiration, and I will highlight some of our adventures here, so you are definitely going to want to bookmark this! I’ve always had an eagle eye for fun and interesting
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
things to do around town. Pre-motherhood, people used to call me the “walking Yelp” because I was the go-to person for the latest and greatest in dining and entertainment (and clean public bathrooms, which are a must when you are out and about all day). As a former fashion model and former real estate agent I spent hours on end pounding the pavement-which always placed new spots to explore on my radar. I am also a rabid consumer of old school media-magazines, newsletters, newspapers, which is often my source of entertainment intel. As a new mother, who had just transitioned from working in an office to building a dress line (sirin bloom, now on hiatus) from home, I put the same energy into finding new ways to explore the city with my baby. We brunched all over town, spent weekends lounging in almost every park that we could walk or take the subway to, and we visited a bunch of art fairs and museums (G’s first art fair was Frieze on Randall’s Island when she was three months, and she went to the Met Costume Institute “China: Through the Looking Glass” exhibit a few weeks after). Even as an infant, she always seemed to absorb everything we took her to see. I was also“blessed” with a baby who barely slept, so nap time was basically nonexistent, or involved these epic strolls around town, where I discovered even more things to do with her. I’ve always curated NYC itineraries for friends and family based on what they were in the mood for and what neighborhoods they were visiting-always including stops along the way for food. And I started documenting our own city adventures on IG stories. SO, the summer before G started pre-school, I decided to consolidate these itineraries and adventures into one space, and Curious G and Me was born. There were a few go-to guides that I checked regularly for family
Photo by Yumi Matsuo
June 2021 | New York Family
entertainment full of listings of new events and venues, but I thought it would be fun to show the perspective of a family who is out and about actually exploring and doing all of the things that are in the guides. I wanted to give it a personal touch and a first- hand POV. If you spend a few minutes with G, you will quickly learn that she is one of the most curious people to have ever roamed the earth. From the time that she was a newborn and throughout babyhood, her pediatrician called her “Inquisitive Eyes”, because she was always looking around as if she was questioning the world. I decided from day one that I would expose her to the things that inspired me, whether it’s music (I made a lullaby mix for her when I was pregnant that included Lana Del Rey, music from Edward Scissorhands, The Cure, Bossa Nova music, etc), art, fashion, nature, or even food. And I love seeing it all through her eyes because she’s so receptive to all of it and lends such a fresh perspective- she really looks at everything from new angles that I never would have thought of. I enjoy adapting my favorite things to make them enjoyable for her. And that is where the lifestyle content stems from. About a month after I launched the website and started posting regularly to my newly minted IG feed, the founder of a popular mommy site reached out to me and asked me to curate their IG feed, in addition to contributing articles to the website. So I added that to my roster and had a blast blazing through town with G almost every day. We also took a few amazing holidays that I covered on my website. Now that she is a little older and has her own social life and co-curricular activities, paired with the fact that I am also more consumed with work (I have been the Communications Director at a private school for the past two years), we refocused and the content has evolved into a more balanced blend of lifestyle and adventuring around town. Right before the pandemic hit, I started working on two new projects so I will try to focus on those this coming year as well-more on that later! But, we will be forever exploring NYC and the posts on my website are a timeless encapsulation of all things fun to do with the family (or even solo every now and then!) With all the fun adventures you and your daughter go on in NYC, we’re sure you have a lot planned for the summer as things start to open more here. Can you share with us some of your NYC summer plans? This will be the summer of NYC outdoors! Much like last summer, people want to get out and soak up some sun after the long and harsh winter that we had. I usually add the hashtag #nycoutdoors when I post about our outdoor urban adventures. We just previewed Little Island, the new green space-outdoor visual and performing arts space designed by Thomas Heatherwick (of The Vessel fame), and it was divine. We really love urban settings where we can lounge with some snacks and drinks (the onsite food trucks offer an awesome selection of snacks, meals, and adult beverages), while the kids run around
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on the grass and explore. NYC is full of these spaces where we can casually spend a fun Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The glory of Little Island is that you can also roll it into multiple stops along Hudson River Park. I mean, where do I even begin with Hudson River Park? If we start from the area north of Chelsea Piers, there is the carousel (now reopened!) and skatepark on Pier 62; mini golf, volleyball courts, Grand Banks, and a playground with one of the city’s best splashpads on pier 25. There are two City Wineries along the way. And the jewel of the crown-Battery Park City. I love all of the food, and the playgrounds, and the sprawling lawns, and the gorgeous river views that you can bask in all day in Battery Park City. If you round the bend that we call the southernmost tip of Manhattan you can also catch a ride on the magical Seaglass Carousel, hit up the playgrounds and shops in South Street Seaport, and dine at one of many fun restaurants on Pier 17 (try the “green Bloody Mary” at Malibu Farm because tequila and kale juice go hand in hand, who knew?!) Just walking around outside in NYC in the summertime is such a vibe for us. You can have an instant dance party just from all the different music blasting from cars cruising by with their windows down! Before the pandemic, G had a legendary (it was literally the last party that many of us attended, pre-COVID) birthday party at the Giant Room. I say this with as little self-aggrandizement as possible, but I felt like I was onto something when most parents stayed even though it was dubbed a “Drop-off optional” party. It was essentially a DJ-ed cocktail party with delicious catering where parents mingled and the kids went wild creating amazing STEAM projects lead by awesome teachers. But it was kind of a light bulb moment where my friend Julie, aka DJ Hesta Prynn, and I realized that we should be throwing this very party on a regular basis where parents can socialize and dance, while their kids were engaged with interactive ajd social STEAM projects. And it could be a weekend brunch party, or a Friday night-let-loose event. NYC parents need this, now more than ever. And my hope is that we can get to a point in the city where we can safely start gathering again. So, we will be working on launching said party this summer. My other project has been in the works since I returned from Singapore after a month-long modeling trip during college. I returned completely inspired by all of the refreshing tea concoctions and delightfully colorful tropical desserts. In a nutshell, I am working on a tea salon concept where you can chill out and enjoy different tea-based elixirs and cocktails that promote wellness. My love of Asian desserts will be showcased in many forms, AND there will be a selection of bubble teas for the kiddos! A southeast Asian surf shack environment will envelope you as enter the premises. Any takers?? As queen of all-things NYC for kids, what are your favorite kid-friendly must-visits (museums, attractions, pop-ups etc.) that you think parents
Clothing credits: On G: White one-shoulder top and shorts: Molo available at A la Mode Shoppe (360 East 55th Street New York, NY 10022) On Janet: Floral dress: Zimmermann Gold hoop earrings: vintage from Christina Caruso (instagram.com/ christinacarusostyle)
Photo by Yumi Matsuo
should check out? Let me get my clip board out! The summer is full of adventure potential-the kind of adventures where you literally are grinning ear to ear the entire time. I actually find myself smiling so much sometimes that my cheeks hurt. For example, when we visited Governor’s Island on opening day, I was smiling so hard the whole time when we were riding the quad bike that the wind dried out my mouth! SO, a trip to Governor’s Island is a must-do this summer for all. I need to go back and try their new go-karts! I highly recommend taking advantage of the NYC ferries. You can find a post about 5 Reasons to Ride the NYC Ferry on curiousgandme.com but to sum things up, the actual ride is scenic and fun and you get to go to some of the most fun spots in the city! Some of our favorite ferry trips are to Astoria for the Sculpture Park and Noguchi Museum, Long Island City for Gantry Plaza State Park, Williamsburg for Domino Park and Brooklyn Bowl, and Brooklyn Bridge Park for extreme playgrounding spread across five different piers. We LOVE taking the ferry to and from Brooklyn Bridge Park (You can find TWO posts about Brooklyn Bridge Park on curiousgandme.com). In fact, if you are looking to maximize your fun you can spend a few hours in Brooklyn Bridge Park, then take the ferry to Governor’s Island! From Governor’s Island you can take the ferry to southern Manhattan, or back to Brooklyn! The possibilities are endless! We also enjoy taking the tram to Roosevelt Island where we walk along the length of the entire island and where, coincidentally, you can also catch the ferry! Coney Island is the quintessential NYC summer spot, and the amusement parks and aquarium are now open! We usually always go to nearby L and B’s pizza nearby to grab upside down Sicilian slices and the Spumoni frozen treats after hanging out on the boardwalk. We also love exploring gardens since we are flower lovers (and G can spend hours digging in the dirt and building shelters for ants and worms). There is a treasure trove of community gardens in the East Village that you can relax in during the weekends and some select weekdays. I recommend exploring one on a day that you take the kids to the awesome selection of playgrounds in Tompkins Square Park. Now I could write a book about Central Park after spending decades going there- we call it our urban backyard, but some of our fave spots are the Hallet Nature Reserve, Billy Johnson Playground, Sheep Meadow, the Conservatory Water, and the Conservatory Garden (you must visit if you haven’t yet-Trust!). The roller disco by Sheep Meadow on the weekends and the drum circles by the bandshell are basically outdoor dance parties. They are FUN. On the weekends, we also like to visit Wave Hill, The Cloisters/ Fort Tryon, New York Botanical Garden, Randall’s Island Urban Farm, and Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. Gallery hopping in West Chelsea, along with a June 2021 | New York Family
“When you stay curious, you keep an open mind. You embrace diversity and you also embrace change, and NYC has a hell of a lot to offer when it comes to exploring diversity.” stroll along the Highline is a go-to when friends visit from out of town. But, we also love stopping by the Met multiple times for the art and views on the Iris B. and Gerald Cantor Rooftop. The views of Central Park are really magnificent from up there and this year’s art installation by Alex Da Corte actually features Big Bird! The Met can never be consumed in one visit, so we like to kick off the spring with a visit and then return with friends throughout the summer. Obviously, should the mood strike, you can hang out in Central Park before or after the Met, which is literally the Met’s backyard. Speaking of recommendations, we saw on IG that oh-so-delicious blueberry muffin sundae from Caffé Panna that your daughter certainly seemed to love. Do you have any other summer treat plugs for NYC kids? Some of our adventures are certainly food-driven! Here are some of our faves, as well as some playgroundtreat pairings! Do check out the ice cream run-down, and our list of 14 Best Playgrounds and Where to Eat and Hang out After on my website! A La Mode Shoppe on East 55th is a destination! It is a completely nut-free, egg-free ice cream shop, with a retail area, that serves amazing handcrafted scoops and softserve. We have been to so many fun parties, movie nights, and events there and cannot wait until they bring them back return. In the meantime, G is completely entranced with their selection of toys, clothes, and accessories for sale. I adore their Partly Cloudy ice cream. The marshmallows just get me everytime! Chinatown is FULL of fun treats. Go to Alimama for the mochi donuts, Taiyaki for the soft serve-in a fresh waffle cake cone, and Kam Hing Coffee Shop for their famous sponge cakes (I could eat ten Butterscotch cakes in one sitting. Don’t ask me if I have). I also swoon for the black sesame and ube swirl soft serve from Soft Swerve, which is now also open in Murray Hill in addition to their Allen Street location. DiSalvo Playground, Seward Park Playground, Elizabeth Street Garden, and Sara D. Roosevelt Playground are all in the vicinity of these treat spots. Grace Street Café has an amazing selection of shaved snow, which is a creamier version of shaved ice adorned with with syrups and toppings. Yum! It’s the perfect summer treat, as well as the perfect chaser to Korean BBQ or Korean hot wings! Mister Dips is a very fun spot on one of the William Vale’s roof-terraces, that serves burgers, fries, and softserve cones out of an airstream. When I say cones, I am talking about cones with toppings that will make your eyes pop out of your head. Stop by Mister Dips
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post Domino Park visit! We like Comfortland in Queens for the giant fried chicken sandwiches and the egg biscuit sandwiches… and don’t even get me started on their desserts. They are works of art! I invite anyone to DM me for treat and restaurant recs-many people do it! I have more go-tos, as well as must-trys. And you will definitely find us frequenting them this summer via our IG stories. I love a good food story! Fostering new experiences— whether it be the latest & greatest in NYC or homeschool hacks that make school-from-home seem totally inspired— are clearly your superpower. Why are these experiences important to you as a mother, and how do you embrace them both for yourself and your daughter? Curiousity. It is something that I’ve passed down to G. I believe that there is so much to learn and so many ways to see the world. When you stay curious, you keep an open mind. You embrace diversity and you also embrace change, and NYC has a hell of a lot to offer when it comes to exploring diversity. When G was four, she decided that the day we went to the Pride Parade in June was the “best day ever”. To this day, it is still in her top two (the other two being the day she mastered the monkey bars on the playground ) list of best days ever. That day she felt the enormous positive energy. The love. The acceptance. She danced and cheered, and celebrated Pride and the LGBTQ+ community. And she learned. She learned that love is love. We have attended so many amazing free cultural events throughout the city, eaten so many new cuisines in new neighborhoods, and met so many dynamic people over the course of G’s six years. By fostering this sense of curiousity, she engages with the world to the fullest and is fearless when it comes to engaging with the people in it. To me this is priceless. To me, this is the best way to encourage an open mind. Explaining to kids what systemic racism is and the various social movements/diversity & inclusion efforts in place to combat it can be really difficult. In an Instagram post you wrote: “It’s scary to hope that nobody targets your child or your parents- or your friends and family members. #stopAsianHate”. What does #stopAsianHate mean to you and how do you talk to your daughter about it? Stop Asian Hate to me is about giving a voice to the AAPI community, which has been silent about outright attacks and micro-agressions for so long. I was recently chatting with one of my closest friends, who is the Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at a huge corporation, and she mentioned how as a community people of AAPI descent often just shrug off racism against us and accept it as the status quo. We sometimes compare our plight to that of other races and just tell ourselves that our situation is not as dire.
But we shouldn’t have to lower our standards and just shoulder to pain of being marginalized. I don’t want G to ever feel like she matters less than other people. When I posted about how scary it is to feel like a target, I was at a point where I was scared. Plain and simple. I was actually scared for myself, my family, and worst of all for G. From the start of the pandemic there was a lot of racial bias directed at Asian people. Some of my friends experienced it first hand, some were even so traumatized that they did not leave their apartments alone. I was so consumed with keeping us all healthy that the fear of being racially targeted wasn’t front of mind. But after the attacks became more frequent, and the horrific murders in Georgia, my fear heightened and there were times when I would be walking down the street while devising different ways to defend myself if I had to. And that’s scary and stressful. But I was raised to internalize my fears rather than expressing them, and this form of introversion can be very dangerous. So when I talk about stopping Asian hate with G, I tell her that she has to speak up for herself. The history of discrimination against Asians in this country traces back to the 1800’s when the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. Then, the Immigration Act of 1917 barred Asians from entering the U.S. Fast forward to 2021, when over 6,000 antiAsian hate crimes have been reported in the last year. Biden just signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act bill, which orders the Justice Department to review all hate crimes, including those against the AAPI community. Stop AAPI Hate, the organization that started tracking and reporting the incidents of hate, violence, and discrimination shortly after the pandemic started and many Asian Americans were being targeted as scapegoats for the virus, was a major catalyst for this development and you can donate to their cause via their website: stopaapihate.com. We need our voices to be heard. One of the questions that G always asks is “Why?”. Why do people say and do racist things? And this is a good opportunity to raise the importance of education. As children and adults, we must learn the history of racism, and very importantly, listen to the people who have experienced it and hear what they have to say with an open heart and an open mind. Children have the advantage of seeing things from the human side without the baggage of politics. Educating our children about treating everyone equally and advocating for the people who need our help is the best that we can do as parents to create change and raise compassionate citizens. Two books that we have read from an early age have been very helpful. They are both from the Ordinary People Change the World series by Brad Meltzer. I am Rosa Parks is a book that G likes to read often, and I am Abraham Lincoln promotes advocating for those who need our help. Let The Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson and The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita L. Hubbard are two more very powerful books that have made an impact on G. So, when G
Photo by Yumi Matsuo
ask me why people are racist, I tell her that racism is a learned behavior and we must always continue to educate ourselves. One last question for you! Why is NYC the place where you want to raise your family? I feel so grateful for the this city where we can hear several different languages spoken on a daily basis, see the beautiful spectrum of different skin colors, learn about a multitude of cultures, and engage with people from all walks of life. I feel the most comfortable when I am surrounded by diversity. DIVERSITY is BEAUTIFUL! I cannot stress this enough. One of my main missions in life is to instill this value in my child as much as possible. As a kid who has lived in NYC all her life, G has always been surrounded by diversity. She also went to an International Preschool and learned to traditional Japanese, Moroccan, and Swahili songs. In fact, one of the songs that they used to sing almost daily was “We All Sing in the Same Voice”, which lists a wide range of differences among different people but asserts that we are all human beings at the end of the day. She gets to live this truth in the greatest city in the world!
“Coney Island is the quintessential NYC summer spot,” Janet says.
June 2021 | New York Family
family day out
Harry Potter New York Store Opens June 3rd By AnAliese DoDD
ans of the Wizarding World will be excited to visit Harry Potter, New York; the new store opens this month (June 3rd). This store will feature the most extensive collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts products under one roof, making it an incredible experience for fans of the series. Covering three stories and over 21,000 sq. ft., Harry Potter New York will make for a great outing everyone can find joy in. The store will also incorporate digital technologies that will integrate with the Harry Potter Fan Club app. Users can find Enchanted Keys throughout the store that unlock exclusive behind-the-scenes facts, figures, and videos that help keep guests interested throughout the entire experience. There will also be two unique virtual reality experiences guests can enjoy to include even more innovative technology. The first, “Chaos at Hogwarts,” lets young witches and wizards journey through Hogwarts, and they’ll encounter magical creatures and secrets along the way. The other is called “Wizards Take Flight” and allows Quidditch lovers to fly on their brooms around London in a battle against the Death Eaters. These exciting virtual experiences
NewYorkFamily.com | June 2021
will allow you to see and experience the Wizarding World in a whole new way. Harry Potter New York will feature 15 different themed areas that bring a separate part of the magical world to life. In other spots they’ll have the opportunity to see stunning features, including a giant model of Fawkes the Phoenix and the Griffin from Dumbledore’s office in the atrium. This iconic imagery from the series will make visitors feel as if they’ve stepped directly into the magical world they’ve only seen on their screens. There are tons of fantastic photo opportunities in each area of Harry Potter, New York that will make for a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else. You’ll be able to get shots inside a London phone box as if transporting themselves into the Ministry of Magic and even see what you’d look like inside Hagrid’s boots. They’ll also have the chance to bring their favorite characters to life at the interactive wand tables that will complete the full magical experience. Once you’ve finished going through all the interactive and beautiful parts of the store, you’ll be able to purchase tons of fun merchandise from the series. You won’t be able to find some of these fun items anywhere else, and whatever kind of gift you’re looking
for, you’ll find something amazing here. You can get chocolate frogs, and Bertie Bott’s every flavor Beans from the Honeydukes inspired area or head under the Dirigible Plum tree for magical stuffed creatures. There’s also a personalization station where you can get unique gifts specifically for the Harry Potter lover in your life. This could include engraving a wand, embossing a journal, or embroidering a House robe with their name. Harry Potter New York will also house the only House of MinaLima in America. The graphic design duo has created incredible art for the films that will now be available for purchase and viewing here in New York. Several brand collaborations, including Spirit Jerseys, Loungefly handbags, and others, make for more special products unavailable anywhere else. Whatever you’re looking for, this store will offer tons of amazing options people are sure to love. You can check out a hand-selected group of the products before the store opens at the Harry Potter Shop. This incredible store will be opening in the heart of New York City next to the Flatiron building at 935 Broadway. Don’t miss out on the magnificent adventure coming to your city. It will be a magical encounter your entire family isn’t likely to forget. You can keep up with more exciting news coming from Harry Potter New York before opening day.
Harry Potter New York 935 Broadway, New York, NY 10010 www.harrypotterstore.com
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