Westchester Family - June 2021

Page 1

June 2021










1 RIDGE HILL BOULEVARD YONKERS, NEW YORK 10710 June 2021 | Westchester Family



June 2021


pg. 34

pg. 26 pg. 16

pg. 20

pg. 44

FEATURES 10 | Tech Details on the new Instagram for kids being launched by Facebook 12 | Gear Sleeping products that may help you get a good night sleep 16 | Home Ideas and tips to brighten up your home

Stories & columns 6 | Editor’s Note June-New Summer 8 | Podcasts 7 educational podcasts for kids

44 | 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


WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021

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

20 | Mom Stories 5 reasons I broke up with my daughter a.k.a sent her to preschool

Production Asst: Katarina Avendaño

26 | Family Day Out Easy hiking trails for the whole family

New York, NY 10022)

30 | Style The best style jeans for moms 34 | Travel Summer road trips for the family to enjoy and explore

on the Cover

Directories 22 | Preschool Listings

Written by: Mia Salas Cover clothing on G: Yellow T-shirt and Shorts: Molo available at A la Mode Shoppe (360 East 55th Street 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)


Summer Challenge Year 53

An energetic, exciting and well-balanced summer activities program of sports, recreation and education designed to meet Challengers from ages 3–14.

Launch Dates:

July 5–August 20, 2021 8:30am to 3:30pm Ages 3–14 • Co-ed

Open Houses: Sunday, May 16th 2pm–4pm • Ages 8–14 Sunday, May 23rd 2pm–4pm • Ages 3–7 100 Overlook Circle, New Rochelle, NY | 914.632.8836 I www.td.edu June 2021 | Westchester Family


Editor’s Note

President Victoria Schneps-Yunis CEO Joshua Schneps

Westchester Family WestchesterFamily.com Publisher Clifford Luster cluster@schnepsmedia.com Executive Editor Donna Duarte-Ladd edit@westchesterfamily.com Digital Editor Katarina Avendaño Contributing Editor Serena Norr ADVERTISING SALES Account Managers LynnMarie Hanley lynnmarie.hanley@westchesterfamily.com 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 12) 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 20). 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 34). Lastly, we are super excited for this month’s cover mom, Janet Bloom from Curious G and Me (page 44). 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

Nina Spiegelman nina.spiegelman@westchesterfamily.com Digital director Erik Bliss PRODUctION Art Director Leah Mitch production@schnepsmedia.com Production Staff Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION Roberto Palacios 718-260-4531

Please recycle this magazine.

Westchester Family (ISSN 1043-6774) is published monthly by Queens Family Media LLC. Please note that the advertisements in this magazine are paid for by the advertisers, which allows this magazine to be free to the consumer. Limit of one free copy per reader. Unless specifically noted, no advertisers, products or services are endorsed by the Publisher. All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertising are available on an equal opportunity basis. Editorial submissions are welcome.

Westchester Family 1 Metrotech Center Brooklyn NY 11201

Feedback 6

© 2021 Queens Family Media LLC All rights reserved.

Share your feedback and ideas! Email us at edit@WestchesterFamily.com.

WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021

Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.

Every kid deserves super health care. Child Health Plus from MVP Health Care.® Choose affordable health insurance for your child—starting as low as $0/month! + Access to thousands of doctors + $0 co-pays + 24 / 7 telemedicine services + Dental and vision coverage

Call us today to see if you qualify!

1-844-514-KIDS (TTY 1-800-662-1220)

Learn more at mvphealthcare.com/kids To learn more about applying for health insurance including Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and Qualified Health Plans through NY State of Health, The Official Health Plan Marketplace, visit www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov or call 1-855-355-5777. Health benefit plans are issued or administered by MVP Health Plan, Inc.; MVP Health Insurance Company; MVP Select Care, Inc.; and MVP Health Services Corp., operating subsidiaries of MVP Health Care, Inc. Not all plans available in all states and counties. MVP Health Plan, Inc. complies with Federal civil rights laws. MVP Health Plan, Inc. does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-800-852-7826 (TTY: 1-800-662-1220). ὀព㸸ዴᯝᝍ౑⏝⦾㧓୰ᩥ㸪ᝍྍ௨ච㈝⋓ᚓㄒゝ ᥼ຓ᭹ົࠋㄳ⮴㟁 1-800-852-7826 (TTY: 1-800-662-1220). This information is available in other formats for members with special needs or who speak a language other than English. Please call us at 1-800-852-7826 (TTY/TTD: 1-800-662-1220). June 2021 | Westchester Family



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


WestchesterFamily.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,

r e m mmer SSuum

PalisadesCenter Center offersover over 200 stores, stores, 26 Palisades 26 dining diningoptions, options,aaa Palisades Centeroffers offers over200 200 stores, 26 dining options, bowlingalley, alley, icerink, rink, theworld’s world’s tallest indoor bowling indoor ropes ropescourse, course,and andmore! more! bowling alley,ice ice rink,the the world’s tallest tallest indoor ropes course, and more!

June 2021 | Westchester 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.


WestchesterFamily.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.


An Iona Preparatory education is one of the best investments you can make for your son’s success. + Graduating classes have earned more than $130 million in academic, merit-based college scholarships over the last five years. + Lifelong alumni network enhances college and career trajectories.

+ Iona Preparatory all but pays for itself as graduates earn an average of $60,000 in scholarships. + A two-tiered college and school counseling program prepares students for acceptance to top-tier schools such as …

For more information, please write to Admissions@IonaPrep.org or visit IonaPrep.org Iona Preparatory Upper School 255 Wilmot Road New Rochelle, NY 10804 (914) 600-6154

Iona Preparatory Lower School 173 Stratton Road New Rochelle, NY 10804 (914) 633-7744

­ ¬ ŧ @IonaPrep ã in/IonaPrep Ť IonaPreparatory June 2021 | Westchester 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.


WestchesterFamily.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


congratulates our Class of 2021! ursulinenewrochelle.org/admissions/admissions-center

June 2021 | Westchester 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.


WestchesterFamily.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.

Members of the Class of 2021 applied to numerous Colleges and Universities in the United States and abroad and were offered over 37 million dollars in scholarships and awards to the following schools:

June 2021 | Westchester Family



Fresh Paint

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


WestchesterFamily.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.

Cel e brati n g Cel e brati n g Celebrating FixUps, Ups,Touch TouchUps, Ups, ofof Fix Touch Ups, of Fix Ups, Touch Ups, Freshen Ups andMore More Freshen Ups and Freshen Ups and and More More

Wegogobeyond beyondpaint painttoo. too.InInstore storeororvirtual virtualcolor colorand and We design consultations are available. ourprofessional professional design consultations are available. Ask our beyond paint paint too. Instore storeor orAsk virtual color and We go beyond too. In virtual color and window designexperts experts aboutwindow window coverings window design about design consultations are available. available. Askour ourcoverings professional consultations are Ask professional design experts about window coverings including blinds,experts shades, shutters anddraperies. draperies. including shades, shutters and window blinds, design about window coverings Callshades, 914.368.0970. Call 914.368.0970. including blinds, blinds, shades, shuttersand anddraperies. draperies. shutters Call914.368.0970. 914.368.0970. Call

BUY ONEGET GETONE ONEFREE FREE BUY FREE BUYONE ONE GET ONE BenjaminMoore Moore Benjamin Benjamin Moore PaintSample Sample Paint Paint Sample


Sign up for Sign up for a achance toto chance to Sign up for achance chance to


Up ToUpWin SignSign UpSign To Win To Win

Text “WALLAUER100” 914.416.5353 Text “WALLAUER100” 914.416.5353 Text “WALLAUER100”toto to914.416.5353 914.416.5353

Every month, every Wallauer Every month, every Wallauer Every month, every Wallauer Every month, every Wallauer location will give away location give away locationwill willgive giveaway awayaaa a location will $100 gift card a lucky $100 gift card to lucky $100 gift card toto lucky $100 gift card to aaalucky winner! winner! winner! winner!

shop.wallauer.com shop.wallauer.com shop.wallauer.com shop.wallauer.com Shop Online In Store Shop Online Pick Up Store ShopOnline OnlinePick PickUp Up Store Shop Up InIn Store Locations Westchester, Putnam &&Rockland Counties Locations Westchester, Putnam Counties Locations Westchester, Putnam &Rockland Rockland Counties Locations inininin Westchester, Putnam Counties www.wallauer.com www.wallauer.com www.wallauer.com www.wallauer.com Offer valid for one (1) free Benjamin Moore® Color Sample when you purchase one (1) Benjamin Moore® Color Sample from participating retailer. Excludes Aura® and Century®. Must present this coupon to redeem – no copies will be

Offerfor valid onefree (1)Benjamin free Benjamin Moore® Color Sample when you purchase BenjaminMoore® Moore®Color Sample from participating retailer. Excludes Aura® and Century®. Must present thisthis coupon to redeem – no–copies will bewill be one (1) Moore® Color Sample you purchase (1)(1)Benjamin Sample participating retailer. Excludes Aura® and Century®. Must present coupon to redeem no copies OfferOffer validvalid for one (1)forfree Benjamin Moore® Color Sample whenwhen you purchase one one (1)one Benjamin Moore® ColorColor Sample fromfrom participating retailer. Excludes Aura® and Century®. Must present this coupon to redeem – no copies will be allowed. Products may vary from store to store. Subject to availability. availability. Offer Offercannot cannotbe becombined combinedwith withother otheroffers, offers,discounts discountsororpromotions, promotions,ororapplied appliedtoward towardprior priorpurchase. purchase.Retailer Retailerreserves reservesthe theright righttototerminate, terminate,cancel cancelorormodify modify allowed. Products vary from store to store. Subject to availability. Offer cannot be combined with other offers, discounts or promotions, or applied toward prior purchase. Retailer reserves the right to terminate, cancel or modify allowed. Products maymay vary from store to store. Subject to availability. Offer cannot be combined with other offers, discounts or promotions, or applied toward prior purchase. Retailer reserves the right to terminate, cancel or modify Moore Junelicenses 2021 |Benjamin Westchester Family 17 the offer at any time without notice. Offer expires 12/31/2021. 12/31/2021. Benjamin BenjaminMoore Moore&&Co., Co.,Aura, Aura,Benjamin BenjaminMoore MooreCentury Centuryand andthe theTriangle Triangle“M” “M”symbol symbolare areregistered registeredtrademarks trademarks licensestotoBenjamin Moore&&Co.Co.11/20 11/20 the offer at any without notice. expires 12/31/2021. Benjamin Moore & Co., Benjamin Moore Century the Triangle symbol are registered trademarks licenses to Benjamin Moore Co. 11/20 the offer at any timetime without notice. OfferOffer expires 12/31/2021. Benjamin Moore & Co., Aura,Aura, Benjamin Moore Century andand the Triangle “M”“M” symbol are registered trademarks licenses to Benjamin Moore & Co.&11/20


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


WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021

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.


This article was provided by Country Willow.


In June 1996, 25 years ago, Country Willow opened its doors. Since then, it has grown as a store, as well as a beloved and trusted Westchester small business. Country Willow started out as a small store in Katonah selling home accents and quality farm tables using reclaimed wood. Cori and Roy Estrow’s vision was to create a welcoming space that offered beautiful, well-made furniture. After 10 years as a small store in Katonah, they expanded to a large space in Bedford Hills, growing to over 20,000 square feet, increasing the selections by adding transitional and contemporary styles, as well as an extensive array of kids and baby furniture and performance bedding. In 2015, the company became employee-owned. Today, while maintaining the store’s original commitment to quality, the collection has expanded again to reflect the changing local population, adding a new gallery called “The Loft at CW,” featuring Industrial Loft, Urban Modern and Nordic styles.







V I S I T O U R B E A U T I F U L S PA C I O U S S H O W R O O M : 2 3 0 R T E 1 1 7 B Y PA S S R O A D , B E D F O R D H I L L S , N Y 1 0 5 0 7 , 9 1 4 . 2 4 1 . 7 0 0 0 C O U N T R Y W I L L O W. C O M Not valid on Previous Purchases, Clearance Items, American Leather, Ekorness, Bedgear, and Hunter Douglas. See store for details. Some limitations apply. June 2021 | Westchester Family


mom stories

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


WestchesterFamily.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 | Westchester Family


preschools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement A Child’s Dream 10 Mill Road, New Rochelle 914-633-4332 achildsdreamnursery.com A Child’s Dream will be offering a fun-filled camp to the current 3’s and 4’s students for the weeks of 6/14 and 6/21. Camp will run Monday - Thursday from 9am-12pm. We will also offer lunch bunch on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12pm-2pm for an additional fee of $30 per day for these two weeks. Students that sign up for Lunch Bunch will bring a nut free lunch from home. Lunch Bunch is optional. Camp will also be open for all incoming students and current students going into the 4’s class for the weeks of 6/28/21-7/26/21 (no camp the week of 7/5/21). Students entering kindergarten are not eligible for these weeks. There will be no Lunch Bunch during the 6/28-7/25 session.

DaniLee’s Helping Hands



DaniLee's Helping Hands 253 Wolfs Lane, Pelham, NY 10803



914-235-3581 danileeshelpinghands.org danileeshelpinghands@gmail.com

WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021

253 Wolfs Lane, Pelham, NY 10803 914-235-3581 danileeshelpinghands.org DaniLee’s Helping Hands was founded by sisters Danielle and Alyssa Marrero who have been childcare providers for over ten years. Their mission is to alleviate the daily stress of families, by providing a safe, enjoyable and loving environment for their children. They provide read alouds, movement breaks, small group learning and one-on-one attention. DaniLee’s also offers daily routine assistance, guided hands-on activities, and virtual playdate facilitation. Children experience STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) projects, virtual zoo and museum tours, dancing, karaoke, arts & crafts, baking and much more.

Early Childhood Center (at the Shames JCC on the Hudson 371 S. Broadway 914-366-7898 shamesjcc.org/earlychildhood The Shames JCC currently offers programs for 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s and follow an emergent curriculum, finding inspiration from Reggio Emilia. Daily activities are about exploration and discovery; exploring with senses, asking questions, test-

ing theories, making plans, and thinking deeply. A large portion of each day is spent in outdoor learning environments and the natural world— children have the opportunity to use these different learning spaces for activities involving nature, stories, construction, mathematical reasoning, and music. The school feels it is essential that they make every effort to keep children in touch with the Earth; its natural rhythms, the changing of the seasons, its beauty and mystery.

German International School New York (GISNY) 50 Partridge Road, White Plains, NY 10605 914 948 6513 GISNY.ORG admissions@gisny.org A Pre-K through grade 12 college preparatory program Open a world of pportunities 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 @ www.gisny.org/admissions.

Kiddie Academy of White Plains 222 Bloomingdale Road White Plains, NY 10605 914.688.1600 kiddieacademy.com/ academies/white-plains Kiddie Academy® Educational Child Care is a new Early Childhood Education Center opening soon in White Plains offering a loving and play-based environment for children 6 weeks to 5 years. With nurturing and highly qualified staff, the center is open weekdays from 6:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. and offers enrichment programs including

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.

| admissions@gisny.org | 50success. Partridge Rd, White Plains, NY 10605 | (914) 948-6513 cognitiveGISNY.ORG growth and positions them for long-term academic

NOW ENROLLING! 2’s, 3’s and 4’s Programs

Register Today! Spots are limited.

Early Childhood Center

Shames JCC on the Hudson

Emergent Curriculum · Outdoor Learning Full-day or Half-Day

The Shames JCC on the Hudson welcomes people of all backgrounds, faiths, genders, and abilities. Register Today! Spots are limited.


371 S. Broadway Tarrytown, NY (convenient to I-287) 914.366.7898

June 2021 | Westchester Family


preschools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Playing, Growing and Learning at... Now ster Regi for 2 /202 2021 ol year o scho

World Cup Nursery School & Kindergarten Becoming 2s, 2s, 3s and 4-year old programs Private, full-day Kindergarten x High teacher to student ra�os x Before and ��er School Programs x Summer Camps x The Love for Learning Starts Here! x x

Call 914-238-9267 160 Joan Corwin Way · Chappaqua · NY www.worldcupschools.com

Music & More and Everyday Spanish, a strong curriculum focused on developmentally appropriate learning and two outdoor playgrounds and an indoor playroom. Meals are prepared on site and there is a private parking lot for easy drop-off and pick-up.

Liberty Montessori’s Summer Science Program 155 Beechmont Dr., New Rochelle, NY 914-636-3461 631 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck,NY 914-777-1382 libertymontessorischools.com Liberty’s academic curriculum is presented to the students through an interdisciplinary curriculum, which integrates subjects for children ages 17 months to 7 years. Liberty’s new Academic Advantage Summer Science Program is being launched for students needing individual summer tutoring and Science fun while developing creative thinking skills to enhance hands on experiences. They invite parents to inquire about Liberty Montessori’s

Indoor and Outdoor Summer Science Camp where young scientists inquire and explore.

World Cup Nursery School & Kindergarten 160 Joan Corwin Way Chappaqua, New York 10514 914- 238-9267 worldcupschools.com World Cup’s reputation for excellence in early childhood education has been built by its dedicated teachers who keep up-to-date on new approaches to learning and are devoted to the students they teach. Great teacher/ child ratios, special guests/ theme days, Spanish, creative movement, two outdoor playgrounds, indoor bike track, music and a huge gymnastics facility where children receive coaching from our USAGsafety-certified instructors are all offered at World Cup. Each child is encouraged to explore and meet challenges in a fun, safe, nurturing, play-based learning environment. Children learn while developing self-confidence, discipline and self-esteem. Full and partialday programs are available.

Partner with Us

Want to reach engaged parents across New York City?

Collaborate with the New York Family Media team to spread the word about your launches, promotions and news. Reach us by emailing info@newyorkfamily.com or calling 718.260.4554


WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021

Toddler through Pre-K 155 Beechmont Drive New Rochelle, NY 10804 (914) 636-3461 Toddler through Elementary 631 West Boston Post Road Mamaroneck, NY 10543 (914) 777-1382 libertymontessorischools.com

Congratulations to Our 2021 Graduates

“Off you go to Kindergarten “

Congratulations to the Class of 2021!!!

You have made wonderful friends and learned so much. It was wonderful watching you grow this year! A CHILD’s DREAM 10 Mill Rd New Rochelle, NY 10804 Achildsdream18@aol.com 914-633-4332 achildsdreamnursery.com

June 2021 | Westchester Family


family Day out

Great Kid-Friendly Hikes 9 easy New York hiking trails perfect for the whole family By Patrick Delaney


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!

Pelham Bay Park – Bronx, NY Recommended Trail: Kazimiroff Nature Trail, 1.2 miles

This trial is a hidden gem, and being familyfriendly is their trademark. Whether you’re a


WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021

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. New York Botanical Garden – Bronx, NY Recommended Trail: The whole garden! 1.8 miles Price: $35/adult, $32/student, $15 children 2-12

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. 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







��������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������



��������������������������� ��������������������������

June 2021 | Westchester Family


family Day out

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.

Jack Harrington and White Plains Greenway – White Plains, NY Recommended Trail: Jack Harrington and White Plains Greenway ,2.5 miles

Spook Rock via Gory Brook and Witch’s Spring Trail – Sleepy Hollow, NY Recommended Trail: With’s Spring Trail, 2 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.

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

Croton Gorge Park – Cortlandt, NY Recommended Trail: Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, 26.5 miles Price: $10 parking without pass

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

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

•• Gymnastics Gymnastics •• Space Space for for Rent Rent •• Blue Blue Seals Seals Swim Swim Team Team •• Marlins Marlins Adult Adult Swim Swim Team Team •• Art Art •• Youth Youth Tech Tech Classes Classes


this park has a lot to offer with its bathhouse and aquatic complex, during the pandemic a leisurely but lengthy walk is always appreciated.

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 infrastructure… not to mention a great photo-op. Harriman State Park – Sloatsburg, NY Recommended Trail: Arden-Surebridge Trail, 3 miles

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. 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!

Register for our classes this summer!

WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021

Registration is open from today until July 9th

Call Today at (718) 758- 5901 or visit NewSettlementCommunityCenter.org

• • • • • • •

Music Soccer Swimming Dance Yoga Samba Fitness Classes • Run Club • ESL Classes

Summer is made for Getaways! y

WE ARE FOLLOWING CDC GUIDELINES Small Groups (by age) & Low Occupancy Equipment Sanitized Prior to Each Session

SUMMER CAMP Full & Half Day Camp Boys & Girls • Ages 4–13 1-8 weeks available No experience necessary Gymnastics • Games & Events Theme Days • Color Wars Space is limited


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…

“We specialize in beginners.” Our Program Emphasizes Skill Progression and Safety Through Basic Skills, Drills, Apparatus Training, Floor, Uneven Bars, Balance Beams, Vault, and Trampoline

At Equalize Fitness

GymCats Gymnastics & Birthday Party Center One Odell Plaza, Yonkers (Exit 9 off Saw Mill River Pkwy)


914-965-7676 • info@gymcats.net www.Gymcats.net June 2021 | Westchester 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.


WestchesterFamily.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.



History ������������� ����


���� ������ ��������


�� � � � � �� � � � � � � � �


31 ������������������������������������� June 2021 | Westchester Family


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.

Westchester Family The Digital Edition OCTOBER 2019




Straight Talk About Straight Teeth

Contact us today to learn about opportunities for safely-delivered in-person music lessons, small instrumental ensembles, and performance opportunities.

www.hbms.org 914-723-1169 | Scarsdale NY

Limited space available for our summer programs Enrolling now for Fall 2021

Cell Phone Addiction YOUR CHILD IS AT RISK






Sign up for a free digital subscription at WestchesterFamily.com and we’ll send you an email when the new issue comes out!

Flexible Tuition Structure | Financial Aid Program Welcoming All Ages! A supportive, joyful learning environment, a focus on the whole person, exceptional teaching, and a multifaceted curriculum.

Developing potential, enriching lives and creating community since 1944


WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021


June 2021 | Westchester Family



Sum�er 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!


WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021

June 2021 | Westchester 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!

Bob peterson

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.


WestchesterFamily.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

Williamsburg, Virginia

Visit colonialwilliamsburg.org/nyfam or call 1-844-207-8168 to learn more.

June 2021 | Westchester 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!


WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021

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 | Westchester 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.


WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021

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 | Westchester 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!


WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021

Check out our new site! We’ve given our Westchester Family website a major makeover

Visit westchesterfamily.com to check it out and sign up for our weekly newsletters! June 2021 | Westchester Family


Janet Bloom of Curious G and Me

On curiosity, diversity, and the 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 kid-friendly 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. 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


WestchesterFamily.com | June 2021

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 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! 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 microagressions 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 anti-Asian 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 ask me why people are racist, I tell her that racism is a learned behavior and we must always continue to educate ourselves. Photo by Yumi Matsuo

For the entire cover story please visit newyorkfamily.com. June 2021 | Westchester 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


WestchesterFamily.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

Enter for a Chance to Win a

Family Summer Fun Day! Sponsored by Palisades Center

3 Chances to Win! 1st Prize - $300 value! • 4 Palisades Climb Adventure tickets ($25 each) • 2 Good Game Lounge gift certificates ($50 each) • Blu Alehouse gift certificate ($100)

2nd Prize - $150 value! • Autobahn Speedway gift certificate ($100) • AMC gift card ($25) • Color Me Mine gift certificate ($25)

3rd Prize - $100 value! • Color Me Mine gift certificate ($25) • Billy Beez passes ($50) • Mike’s Burgers gift certificate ($25)



Exp date 7/31




Suzanne Greenidge, MD with new mom Liliana Silva-Maldonado and her son



EDWIN PAN, MD NOT SHOWN: Melissa Groves, MD Khaled Hassan, MD Sarla Khushalani, MD Luis Maturana, MD Molham Solomon, MD Vivian Sone, MD




5 STAR MATERNITY AWAR AWARD Large Private Riverview Suites Award-Winning Obstetrical Care VIP Experience Infant Safety Program Serene Post-Partum Recovery Neonatal Level II Intensive Care Nursery Visit RiversideHealth.org for a Virtual Tour of our Maternity Suites

© 2021 St. John’s Riverside Hospital | All Rights Reserved.