Bronx/Riverdale Family - November/December 2021

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Nov/Dec 2021

Explore the American Museum of Natural History!

Beginning BeginningNovember November20 20

Founding FoundingSponsors Sponsors

Sponsors Sponsors

LuEsther LuEstherT.T.Mertz MertzCharitable CharitableTrus Trus tt t Providing Providingleadership leadershipsupport supportfor for year-round year-roundprogramming programmingatatNYBG NYBG


November/December 2021

pg. 24

pg. 14 pg. 18

pg. 20

pg. 30

FEATURES 8 | Health Kids ages 5 to 11 can now get the COVID-19 vaccine, here’s what parents need to know 14 | Special Needs When the next step for your child is an IEP 18 | Education Changing your child’s preschool or daycare mid-year 22 | Travel Visting the Legoland Resort 24 | Holiday Gift Guide Our family toy guide for kids up to tweens

30 | Cover - Phenomenal & Festive Our holiday bucket list

on the Cover

36 | Giving Charities that support New York families

Illustration: Béatrice Hug

Stories & columns 4 | Editor’s Note November-December Magic

Photo: Yumi Matsuo | Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | Shot on location at: American Museum of Natural History | Ava and Milo are wearing: ZARA Kids | Produced by: Donna Duarte-Ladd Production Asst: Courtney Ingalls

20 | Family Fun Family-friendly ski resorts for a winter getaway

Directories 16 | Special Needs Listings

November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


Editor’s Note Publisher: Clifford Luster Executive Editor: Donna Duarte-Ladd Digital Editor: Courtney Ingalls 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

November/ December: Magic As this issue was going to print, the COVID-19 vaccine was approved for children ages 5 to 11. We are parents to kids in this age group and know that the decision can be easy for some families and not so for others. Hopefully, our piece on Kids & the COVID-19 Vaccine (page 8) will provide you with essential information on this vaccine. If you notice that your child is missing key milestones, our article on Missing Milestones (page 14) provides helpful tips on when your next step should be an IEP for your child. We also have an extensive guide on Special Need Resources (page 16) helpful to all parents.

We started scouring the toy front early as many parents are looking to order toys early this year. We have an excellent list, Gift Guide (page 24), for little kids to tweens. And for more guides (moms, dads, stocking stuffers, pets....), visit our Gift Guide 2021 at Parents know that having kids, other than their endless energy, is that how they see the world is eye-opening and invites back wonder into our lives. Our NYC bucket list (page 30) is full of fun-to-do’s and, yes, phenomenal and festive joy. Donna and New York Family Media

Editorial Contributors: Jana Beauchamp, Cris Pearlstein, Mia Salas Editorial Interns: Olivia Haveron, Kairee Giron, Tamonda Griffiths, Maya Laidler, Jennifer Tsuei

Contact Information

ADVERTISING: (718) 260-4554 Circulation: (718) 260-8336

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

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

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New York Family is published monthly by Queens Family Media, LLC.

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

4 | November/December 2021

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November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family




To provide a rigorous college readiness program and career preparatory learning environment that provides students with a foundation of the necessary skills to pursue college or a career in the architecture, engineering, and the construction industries.


• 98% Graduation Rate • Rigorous college course sequence that allows students to earn college credits while attending AECI. • Architectural Drawing, Drafting, Revit, and AutoCad classes prepare students for certification exams in the architecture field. • Robust Internships and partnerships provide our students with scholarships in the architecture field. • Six counselors on staff to support whole student development. • AECI Core Values of Perseverance, Achievement, Integrity and Respect develop our students into young professionals.


• Use of UV Lighting to disinfect classrooms daily • HEPA Air Filtration units utilized in all AECI classrooms PPE Equipment (hand sanitizer, masks, disinfectant wipes) provided daily • Digital temperature scanning performed daily • Tri-Fold screens utilized at every student desk • Every student provided with a Chromebook and Wifi connectivity device to support our hybrid learning model


Community School District 7, South Bronx 838 Brook Avenue, Bronx NY 10451


Jan. 22nd, 10am-1pm (bad weather date Jan. 29th) Feb. 19th, 10am-1pm (bad weather date Feb. 26th) March 19th, 10am-1pm (bad weather date Mar. 26th)




WWW.INTRAGRAM.COM/AECINYC | November/December 2021

GRADUATION 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020

RATE 97% 95% 95% 98%



Escuela Secundaria Autónoma de la Ciudad de Nueva York para la Ingeniería Arquitectónica y las Industrias de la Construcción MISIÓN:

Proporcionar un programa riguroso de preparación para la universidad y un entorno de aprendizaje preparatorio para la carrera que brinde a los estudiantes una base de las habilidades necesarias para seguir la universidad o una carrera en las industrias de arquitectura, ingeniería y construcción.


• Tasa de graduación del 98% • Secuencia de cursos universitarios rigurosos que permite a los estudiantes obtener créditos universitarios mientras asisten a AECI • Las clases de dibujo arquitectónico, dibujo, Revit y AutoCad preparan a los estudiantes para los exámenes de certificación en el campo de la arquitectura. • Prácticas sólidas y las asociaciones brindan a nuestros estudiantes las herramientas necesarias en el campo de la arquitectura. • Seis consejeras disponibles en el personal para apoyar el desarrollo integral del estudiante. • Los valores fundamentales de AECI de perseverancia, logros, integridad y respeto convierten a nuestros estudiantes en jóvenes profesionales.


• Uso de iluminación ultravioleta para desinfectar los salones de clases a diario • Unidades de filtración de aire HEPA utilizadas en todas los clases en AECI • Equipo de EPP (desinfectante de manos, mascarillas y toallitas desinfectantes) proporcionado diariamente • Escaneo de temperatura digital realizado diariamente • Pantallas de tres pliegues utilizadas en todos los escritorios • Cada estudiante se proporciona una computadora Chromebook y conectividad wifi dispositivo para apoyar nuestro modelo de aprendizaje híbrido


Distrito Escolar Comunitario 7, South Bronx 838 Brook Avenue, Bronx NY 10451


Jan. 22nd, 10am-1pm (Fecha de mal tiempo 1/29) Feb. 19th, 10am-1pm (Fecha de mal tiempo 2/26) March 19th, 10am-1pm (Fecha de mal tiempo 3/26)




GRADUATION 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020

RATE 97% 95% 95% 98%


November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family



Kids & �he COVID-19 Vac�ine As shots become available, here’s what parents need to know

vaccination in all eligible children as authorized by the FDA.


The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for kids ages 5-11 “We have enough vaccine — Pfizer vaccine — for every child aged 5 through 11. So the whole distribution plan that we’ve been talking about – 20,000 sites, millions of doses being shipped as we speak – is all Pfizer vaccine. We do not have [approval], as you know, for this age group for Moderna. So, we have, already, plans and are in the process of shipping 15 million doses out nationwide, with millions of more doses available each and every week,” Jeffrey Zients, a Biden administration official, said on Monday. “States have chosen where, within their state, to send vaccine supply.”


C.D.C panel met November 2nd morning into the early evening and overwhelmingly voted yes (14 yes, 0 no’s) to approve the COVID -19 Vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. And parents with kids in this age group are asking, now what? Like many substantial parenting issues, the decision to vaccinate your elementary school-age child is perhaps a quick “yes” and, for others, maybe it is a more complicated decision. So while the decision to vaccinate is the one for the parent to make, here is what we know so far in hopes it will provide you the information to help you decide what is best for your family. The government is ready to vaccinate kids ages 5-11 group


With the FDA and now CDC approval for the vaccine for children between the ages of 5 to 11, all levels of government have rallied resources for families to receive the Pfizer jab. At a White House briefing on November 1st- they announced 15 million doses would be transferred from Pfizer to facilitate immunizations at pediatricians’ offices, pharmacies, hospitals, and health centers across the United States. What is the American Academy of Pediatrics saying regarding the COVID-19 shot for kids ages 5 -11? During the CDC panel, the AAP ( American Academy of Pediatrics ) stated that they recommend children of this age receive the COVID-19 vaccination. The AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) also voiced that they strongly support | November/December 2021

What about our schools and the vaccine for this age group? Our sister site AMNY shared in late

November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family



Learn more

October,” ‘For now, the COVID-19 vaccine, once approved for use in younger children, will be made available on a voluntary basis — with all parents strongly encouraged to get their children vaccinated. But Hochul did not rule out potentially mandating the use of the vaccine among children if usage is low and COVID-19 cases begin to spike. “As I’ve said all along, I want to empower parents and the schools to do the right thing first. But if we’re not seeing adequate compliance, or we’re seeing the numbers start going up … if I start seeing infection rates going up, hospitalizations going up, more children being affected, I will have no choice. But right now, the numbers are good, you can get the kids voluntarily vaccinated, parents will hopefully do the right thing, and I will keep an eye on that situation.”’ Meanwhile, Governor Kathy Hochul has a state program that will provide 120 additional sites geared toward children, known as #VaxtoSchool, via mobile vaccination units that will be posted across the state. “We saw too many narratives and

Learn about v-safe (, a free, smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after your child receives a COVID-19 vaccination. To find a vaccine: Call your pediatrician to see if they are administering the shot for ages 5 to 11-year-olds (orange cap)

pictures of children and other parts of the country struggling on ventilators in hospitals. It’s a scary spectrum for parents, and this is how we can protect them. We now have this available,” Hochul said last week. “We’ve been making preparations for weeks now. I had spoken to the New York Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to get all their pediatricians on board. We’ve been in regular communication with all the

providers. So it’s going to be various places that parents can go to, to have their children vaccinated as soon as it’s available.” What are doctors in the NYC community doing for this age group concerning the COVID-19 vaccine? As the CDC panel shared at the voting meeting, part of their Pediatric Vaccination Implenation Goals is to ensure access and availability to kids in schools and hospitals and establish programs in vulnerable and underserved populations. For New York, local community care sites are ready. Dr. Victor Peralta, SOMOS Community Care: “Over the last 11 months, SOMOS Community Care has administered more than 1.5 million doses of the Vaccine of Hope, meeting New Yorkers where they are, from subway stations to the community doctors’ offices they have been going to for years. With vaccines for children now within arm’s reach, we are mobilizing in the same way—focusing on education, busting myths, and building New Yorkers’ confidence in the vaccine.”

Wrong time for the flu. Right time for a flu shot. COVID-19 has taught us that we all need to be protected.

A flu shot helps protect you and your family.


Childen under 5

For more information and to find a location to get your flu shot, visit or call 311.

10 | November/December 2021

If you are over 65

If you are or may be pregnant

Bill de Blasio Mayor Dave A. Chokshi, MD MSc Commissioner

If you have other medical conditions

Yalow’s New K-5 Campus!

Yalow’s Nuevo Campus 1-5

650 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, NY 10451

650 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, NY 10451



1260 Franklin Ave. Bronx, NY 10456

The mission of the Mott Hall Charter School is to prepare our scholars in mind, body, and character to succeed in top high schools, colleges, and careers by becoming inquisitive, open-minded, and compassionate citizens of the world.

The Mo� Hall Charter School is S�ll Accep�ng Applica�ons for 6th, 7th and 8th Grade for the 2021-2022 School Year Scan code or go to h�ps://mo� to apply The Mo� Hall Charter School is accep�ng applica�ons for the 6th and 7th grade, also accep�ng waitlist applica�ons for 8th Grade for the 2021-2022 school year. We will also provide transporta�on via MetroCards for all eligible students. For more informa�on, please contact Erica Flores at eflores@mo� or 917-991-9139

RISE TO THE CHALLENGE! November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family



15 , 2022


JOIN US FOR AN OPEN HOUSE November 12th, 4:30pm - 6:30pm November 20th, 10:00am - 2:00pm December 2nd, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

December 18th, 10:00am - 2:00pm January 7th, 4:30pm - 6:30pm For reservations, email

NYC Charter High School

For Computer Engineering and Innovation Mission

Instructional Model

The culture of our school is driven by our commitment to the school’s Core Values:

 Computer Engineering & Innovation course work  Intensive college preparation with college visits

PERSEVERANCE, ACHIEVEMENT, INTEGRITY, AND RESPECT. AECI II is a Computer Engineering & Innovation themed high school located in the South Bronx- District 9. Our student body is culturally diverse with an average attendance rate of 95%. AECI II emphasizes science and math proficiency, effective communication, and critical thinking skills through standards-based curriculum that meets or exceeds the New York State Learning Standards. Our school includes sports teams, after-school activities, and student centered clubs. For the school year 2021-2022, AECI II provides students with a rigorous program including Computer S 3D Printing and Web Page Design.

 College counseling at every grade level  Social & emotional focus to support whole student  Hybrid platform utilized for in-person and remote learning  Every student provided a Chromebook and

Health and Safety  Digital Temperature scanning performed daily  UV Lighting to disinfect classrooms  PPE Equipment provided daily  HEPA Air Filtration units utilized in all Classrooms

Location 116 East 169 Street Bronx, NY 10452




12 | November/December 2021





ÚNETE A NOSOTROS PARA UNA CASA ABIERTA 12 de noviembre, 4:30 pm -6:30 pm 20 de noviembre, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm 2 de diciembre, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

18 de diciembre, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm 7 de enero, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm Para reservas, envíe un correo electrónico a

Escuela Secundaria Charter de NYC

Para Computación Ingenieria e Innovacion Misión

Modelo Instructivo

La cultura de nuestra escuela está impulsada por nuestro compromiso con los valores fundamentales de la escuela:

PERSEVERANCIA, LOGRO, INTEGRIDAD Y RESPETO. AECI II es una escuela secundaria con temática de Ingeniería e Innovación en Computación ubicada en el Distrito 9 del Sur del Bronx. Nuestro cuerpo estudiantil es culturalmente diverso con una tasa promedio de asistencia del 95%. AECI II enfatiza el dominio de las ciencias y matemáticas, la comunicación efectiva y las habilidades de pensamiento crítico a través de un plan de estudios basado en estándares que cumple o supera los Estándares de aprendizaje del estado de Nueva York. Nuestra escuela incluye equipos deportivos, actividades extracurriculares y clubes centrados en los estudiantes. Para el año escolar

2021-2022, AECI II ofrece a los estudiantes un programa riguroso que incluye informática, programación, Microsoft Office, impresión 3D y diseño de páginas web.

 Trabajo del curso básico de Ingeniería e Innovación en Computació  Preparación universitaria intensiva con visitas a la universidad  Cultura positiva de altas expectativas y respeto mutuo  Asesoramiento universitario en todos los niveles  Enfoque social y emocional para apoyar el desarrollo integral del estudiante  Plataforma de aprendizaje híbrida utilizada para aprendizaje en persona y remoto

Salud y Seguridad  Uso de iluminación ultravioleta para desinfectar los salones de clases a diario  Unida en todas los clases  Equipo de EPP proporcionado diariamente  Escaneo de temperatura digital realizado diariamente

Ubicación 116 East 169 Street Bronx, NY 10452



Aceptando Aplicaciones Haga clic en REGISTRO

November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


special needs

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


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


nosed learning disability will receive a 504. Students who need more services, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, special education teacher support services, etc., would receive an IEP. Know Your Rights Federal law indicates that every child is entitled to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible. Three specific federal laws apply to children with special needs, including the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Ace, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These laws’ specifics can vary by state, so it’s important for you to understand the procedures and criteria specific to your state. IDEA stipulates that a child’s issues must fall into one of 13 categories to be eligible for special education services. Section 504 mandates that schools cannot discriminate again students who have disabilities and are required to provide appropriate accommodations to them. Students covered under Section 504 usually have less severe disabilities or do not fall into one of the categories stipulated under IDEA. The ADA indicates that children with special needs cannot be discriminated against and must be provided appropriate services and programs suitable to their needs. If your school district refuses to provide appropriate services to your child, you may initiate a due process | November/December 2021

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

Grades 2-8 8:20- -2:20 2:20 PM Grades 2-8||Hours Hours 8:20 PM JCOS offers Art, Music, Technology, Band and Gym Enrollment: basedonon availability Enrollment:Rolling RollingAdmissions, Admissions, based availability Small size Small class class size Certified Special Education teachers and specialists who provide on-site services Multisensory techniques succeedboth bothacademically academically socially Multisensory techniquestotohelp helpchildren children succeed andand socially 1616 North 105333| 914.591.9330 | 914.591.9330| | NorthBroadway Broadway|| Irvington, Irvington, NY NY 10533

Clowns • Characters Face Painting • Balloon Art • Magic Games • Cotton Candy • Popcorn Paint Nites for Adults & Kids too!

Party Room available for Birthday & Baby Shower Celebrations! Call (917) 579-0867 to book your party today! /ConfettiPartyPlace /ConfettiPartyPlace 3190 Westchester Avenue, Bronx, New York 10461

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

Visit to check it out and sign up for our weekly newsletters! November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


special Needs Directory | Special Advertising Supplement Grades K-12 special education proGrams

Biondi elementary school - Grades K–6 Biondi middle & High school - Grades 7–12

Biondi Education Center

Extended Home Care

463 Hawthorne Ave., Yonkers 914-410-5596 K-12th Grades. Their nurturing setting and individualized therapeutic support help students build their academic skills, grow their self-esteem, and learn to overcome frustration - all skills necessary for success. At Biondi they use evidence-based approaches to work with students, which allows them to continue their academic and emotional progress. Certified Teachers and Teaching Assistants, Clinical Psychologists, School Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists support students at their Elementary and Secondary Schools. Contact Stephanie Buckman, MSW, Director of Admissions, SBuckman@RisingGround. org.

7 Penn Plaza, Suite 422 New York, NY 10001 212-356-4200 Contact Info:Sean Chen 347-372-0101 Extended Home Care specializes in servicing the intellectual/developmentally disabled population age 3 and up in all 5 boroughs. They provide home based services such as Skilled Nursing, Home Health Aide, Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy. Their rehabilitation program will help your child gain the skills and confidence that he/ she needs to live safely at home, avoid hospitalization and remain engaged in the community. Your child can get their services in addition to those he/she receives at school.

Our Schools provide: • Special Education for students classified with Autism, Emotional Disturbance, Learning Disability and Other Health Impairment • NYS Certified Teachers & Teaching Assistants • New York State Education Department Standards Based Curriculum: Reading, Mathematics, Science, History/Social Studies, Spanish (MS/HS), Art, Music, Physical Education • Technology Integrated Instruction – Google Classroom, Robotics • Young Men & Young Women Academies (MS/HS) • Career Development and Occupational Studies: Barbering, Cosmetology, Customer Service, HVAC, Plumbing, Security • Partnerships with Bronx County Community College and Bryant & Stratton College • PBIS: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports • Student Clubs and Activities: Student Council, LGBTQ+, My Brother’s Keeper • Section 1 – Class D – Basketball, Track and Field • Guidance Counselor, School Social Workers, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Pathologists and Physical Therapists • Individual & Group Counseling • Animal Assisted Therapy • Transportation (provided by home school district) • Residential Treatment Center available for Students in grades 7-12 • Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist available for residential students.


16 | November/December 2021

Cardinal O’Connor School 16 North Broadway, Irvington, NY 10533 914-591-9330 The John Cardinal O’Connor School is a Catholic school dedicated to providing an affordable, language-based, academic curriculum for children in grades 2-8 with mild Learning Disabilities (LD), Speech or Language Impairments (SPL), or other Health Impairments (OHI). Students at JCOS are taught by certified special education teachers in small classes. Teachers utilize multisensory instructional techniques to help children succeed both academically and socially. JCOS is dedicated to providing the benefits of a Catholic education to children who learn differently. Please contact JCOS for more information by emailing tara.freeman@ johncardinaloconnorschool. org.

SteppingStone Day School, Inc. 2826 Westchester Ave., 718-554-2025 Established in 1983, as a private, not for profit, infant and preschool program for children with/without special needs for children ages 3-5. Their mission is to provide collaborative evaluation, education, therapy, and family support services so children can develop to their full potential and become members of the community. They are able to provide services to children with varying degrees and severity of disability. They’ve been in the forefront in providing integrated classrooms since the early 1990’s. Licensed/ certified special educators, therapists, social workers, and psychologists are part of a multidisciplinary team dedicated to their philosophy that all children are entitled to an education that is safe, nurturing and in an enriched environment. They are fully licensed.

STEPPINGSTONE DAY SCHOOL, INC. A Preschool Program for Children With and Without Disabilities Not for Profit — Established in 1983

Queens/Bronx Preschool Programs ‑ CPSE Evaluations Speech/Language, Occupational, Physical Therapy & Counseling Services Family Support Services • Preschool self-contained and integrated classrooms; Pre-K and 3K for All in Queens site • Nurturing, child-friendly learning environments • Ongoing communication between parents and professionals • Meeting the needs of the families through concrete and social work services

To find out more about SteppingStone Day School For the Queens Location, call Janice Nicotra 718-591-9093 • For the Bronx location, call Brooke Abrams 718-554-2025 SteppingStone Day School’s Preschool Program is Funded and Regulated By The New York State Department of Education, The New York City Department of Education and Licensed by The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of Daycare

Extended Home Home Care Care can can help help each each individual reach reach their individual their maximum maximum potential potential Our specialty specialty is is caring caring for Our for people people with with Developmental DevelopmentalDisabilities Disabilities

Extended Care for Quality of Life Extended Home Care serves Special Needs patients of all ages: • • •


Special Needs diagnoses include: • • • • • • • •


We accept Medicare, Medicaid and a variety of other insurance plans.

You want your family member, young or old, to have the best You want your family member, young or old, to have the best possible quality of life. But accessing all the right services for possible quality of life. But accessing all the right services for people with Developmental Disabilities can be very challenging. people with Developmental Disabilities can be very challenging. Extended Home Care is specially licensed to serve cognitively Extended Home Care is specially licensed to serve cognitively and neurologically impaired individuals. We are a CHHA, or and neurologically impaired individuals. We are a CHHA, or Certified Home Health Agency, serving all five boroughs of New Certified Home Health Agency, serving all five boroughs of York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties. New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties. We offer in-home support to meet your family member’s health, We offer in-home support to meet your family member’s developmental and safety needs by providing Skilled Nursinghealth, developmental andAides, safetyplus needs by providing Skilled Nursing and Home Health Physical Therapy, Occupational and Home Health Aides, plus Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Social work, as needed. Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Social work, as needed. Our culturally diverse staff speaks a variety of languages, including: Our culturally diverse staff speaks a variety of languages, including: Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Creole, Korean, French and others. Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Creole, Korean, French and others.

Contact Us

Contact Us Manager at Sean Chen, Business Development Lana Matsko, Director Business Development at 646-751-9300 or 347-372-0101 orofemail at Nellya Khaimova, Director of Intake Services at 212-356-4200 ext. 3366 7 Penn Plaza, Suite 422

1200 South Ave., Suite 205

360 West 31stNY Street 2617 Staten East 16th Street 900 South Avenue New York, 10001 Island, NY 10304 New York, NY 10001Tel: 212-356-4200 Brooklyn, NY 11235 Staten Island, NY 10314 (212) 356-4200 (718) 891-0808 (718) 982-1360 November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family



Changing a Preschool or Daycare Mid-year How to make the decision to switch schools for your child BY DONNA DUARTE�LADD


e’re nearly at the mid-term of the school year, and it’s time to take stock of how things might be going for your little one. While your child might be blissfully happy, it can also be the case that sometimes their school isn’t working and you may be considering a mid-year jump to a new school.


Figure Out What Isn’t Working The first step is to check in on why you want to move to another pre-school or daycare. Listing what isn’t working will help you assess the kind of school that will work for your child. Whether you physically write it down or verbally work them out, list the pros and cons of staying or moving to a new school. There doesn’t have to be any finger-pointing or negativity; this is about what your family and child need in their schooling. No one or | November/December 2021

one thing has to be the bad guy; sometimes, it just isn’t working. In many ways, parents learn a lot in these early years of education on what type of school path their child needs. Talk to Your Child’s Teacher or School Principal Reach out to your child’s class teacher or school principal to schedule a meeting or a time for a phone call. Be honest that you’re considering a change of environment and bring up your concerns about the school. Keep in mind that you only see one side of the story as a parent and that they might have valuable insights to share about your child’s life at school. Once you’ve laid out your concerns, listen carefully to their response and ask them whether they have any suggestions for improving the situation. If you aren’t convinced that change will be possible and still have the same

desire to make a move, ask what the process for leaving mid-year might be. If you’re at a private school, understand your billing notice period and how you will retrieve school records. Research, Research, Research It’s time to spring into action. Talk to friends, contact a school’s expert, call schools’ admissions departments, and arrange visits whenever possible. Try to identify your options considering academics, travel time, curriculum, cost, and pastoral approach. Most importantly, have an honest discussion with parent coordinators, teachers, and directors about the probability that they will have a space for your child. Don’t necessarily take an initial “no” as a final answer but probe to understand whether there are circumstances in which spots might open up or perhaps get on a waiting list. Once a new school has beenchosen, mentally prepare your child for the move Alicia Sharpe, a New York City-based Education Consultant, says, “Mental

In many ways, parents learn a lot in these early years of education on what type of school path their child needs.

them to participate in activities that current friends take part in.” What sort of behaviors should you address that would lead you to make a move to a new daycare or pre- school? • Negative social and emotional behaviors • Academic challenges or academic boredom • If your child expresses they don’t feel safe • Lack of support with special needs • Overcrowded classrooms • Poor relationship with the teacher or discipline challenges

preparation starts at home. Speak with your child about this new coming transition; even if the child is too young to communicate with you verbally, they will understand. If possible, bring your child to visit the new school, meet the teachers, and introduce them to their new classroom before the start of the new school term. If you have an older child, help them understand that moving schools are not abnormal, but it will be an exciting fresh start. Reassure them that it’s possible to maintain friendships even when they’re at a new school, and consider how you can help

What are some criteria to look for when deciding to move to another school in the mid-year? • School curriculum • Teacher certification • Staff turnover • Genuine and sincere staff • Children appear happy when you visit the school • Location • Cost • Likelihood of admittance

Spuyten Duyvil Preschool Spuyten Duyvil PRESCHOOL

Serving NW Bronx & Northern Manhattan since 1928



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

Visit to check it out and sign up for our weekly newsletters!

See NYC DOE Website for Application Process for September 2022 Engaging child-centered program including on-site gardening and arts integration with a strong social/emotional core curriculum

Check Website for More Information Virtual Tours Available

718-549-1525 • 3041 Kingsbridge Avenue, Bronx, NY

(Between 230 & 231 Street)

November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


Family Fun


Ski Resorts Planning your winter getaway By Mia SalaS


re you looking for a winter getaway? Take a ski trip with your family at these family-friendly ski resorts. There are a ton of ski resorts and ski slopes to choose from, so we rounded up our top 5 picks. Many resorts have gentle slopes and “ski school” for kids and adults, so no prior ski experience is necessary to have winter fun. Don’t forget to check the website of your ski pick for COVID-19 guidelines and pack your bags for your next weekend stay at a New York ski resort! Smugglers Notch 4323 VT-108, Jeffersonville, VT 05464

For your next family ski trip, head to Smugglers’ Notch, Ski Magazine’s #1 resort for families for the last 20 years! The 78 trails, eight lifts, and the highest vertical drop in Northern Vermont at 2,610 feet is not only a winter wonderland - it is designed to deliver the ultimate ski experience. There are multiple terrain parks and 1,000 acres of skiing and riding. For Fall, enjoy the beauty that is Vermont with outdoor activities and crisp air fun. Come winter; kids will love snowshoeing, tubing, cross country skiing, swimming, Fun Zone 2.0, ice skating. The Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s mission is to give families an experience that they will cherish for life, and it is no wonder many make visiting it a yearly ritual. Smugglers’ condominiums are located in wooden spots with mountain views or make your home in one of the condos closer to the village. The convenient, cozy, family-style lodgings with fully equipped kitchens and more are perfect for the entire family. If you don’t ski (some of us prefer to lounge and drink hot chocolate, no guilt in that!), the “Winter Experience Package” offers you a Cat Trax ride to the top of the mountain for a view of the fireworks on Thursday nights. We all know kids can go


24/7 - there are activities for everyone such as Bingo, Family Feud, nightly hot chocolate by the bonfire, the fireworks we mentioned on Thursday night, and more. For those tweens who need extra, there is a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop, nighttime tubing; a new Teen Center called The Alley with Virtual Reality quests and Xbox Live, Night School for Boarding, and Jibbing. Mount Peter 51 Old Mt. Peter Road Warwick, NY 10990

Mount Peter may be the only ski and | November/December 2021

snowboarding destination initially started (in 1936) by Macy’s Department Stores as a ‘showroom’ to sell their ski fashion. Very très chic and New York. As one of the oldest operating familyowned ski spots in the country, it is a special place for families to visit or newly discover each winter. Located in Warwick, NY, it is about one hour from NYC — making for a convenient day trip and a great spot to learn to ski or get in a day of skiing, snowboarding or tubing. Known for their free beginner ski and snowboard lessons on weekends and holidays, this is the perfect spot when the kids are

ready to ski or for mom or dad to learn the art of skiing or snowboarding. Super familyfriendly, this spot consists of a combination of locals, city peeps, and tourists worldwide. There is a reason Mount Peter is called New York’s family mountain! Mount Peter features 14 trails for skiing or snowboarding and a 600-foot tubing run. Rates are affordable, which parents will appreciate if bringing a large group. If you don’t own skis, no problem, as there is a daily ski rental barn where you can rent skis, snowboards, poles, and helmets. Tip- we suggest heading to the rental shop as soon as you arrive as the line can get long, and we all know that kids have little patience when the fun is around the corner. For tasty food, the lodge serves food and Pete’s Pub offers adult beverages as well as a gift shop! Belleayre Mountain 181 Galli Curci Road, Highmount, NY 12441

Belleayre Mountain’s excellent skiing, reasonable pricing, and year-round activities

make it one of the best family-friendly ski resorts in Upstate New York. We love their heated gondola that keeps us nice and warm on the slopes. With a variety of downhill courses, a snowsports school offering classes for kids, teens, and adults, and summer activities like biking, hiking, and Belleayre Beach, this resort has something for everyone at almost any time of year. Located just north of Big Indian Wilderness, it is just over a two-hour drive from NYC. Plattekill Mountain 469 Plattekill Road, Roxbury, NY 12474

Located in the northwestern Catskills, Plattekill Mountain is a different breed of ski resort. This privately owned and operated resort, affectionately called “Platty” by the many ski enthusiasts who visit regularly each year, offers a unique family vibe that visitors love. Skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing fun can all be found on the mountain, but visitors will also find a welcoming atmosphere, plenty of smiles, and unique

experiences. At just about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the city, it’s a great option for getting in some great skiing and feeling like you found a second home. Gore Mountain 793 Peaceful Valley Road, North Creek, NY 12853

Located on the eastern edge of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness, Gore Mountain has something for everyone all year round. In the winter months, visitors can take advantage of 110 trails and 14 lifts on New York’s biggest mountain. The resort also offers classes and private lessons for kids, teens, and adults. With a variety of beautiful accommodation options and delicious dining choices, the mountain is an all-season resort destination that’s widely considered to be the best in all of New York and in the upper echelon of the northeastern US. It’s well worth the drive of just under four hours from NYC to get there


November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family



Visiting the Legoland New York Resort By Donna Duarte-LaDD


irst, let’s start with a disclaimer, I know my amusement parks. Growing up in California, I visited many and often. But as a mom living on the East Coast, amusement parks never seemed as big a deal as California’s ones. Am I an amusement park snob? Perhaps. But when LEGOLAND New York Resort announced they were opening here in New York, well, this changed the game. It is a big deal, especially for people like me, where visiting amusement parks was part of their childhood fabric. And now that we adults and one 12 year old are vaccinated, we headed to LEGOLAND! Legoland New Resort Most parents will admit that taking their kids to an amusement park is a love-hate thing. You want your kids to have this fun experience, but they go wild, which can be stressful. I also have to consider my Autistic son;


two summers ago, we went to a particular park (think mouse ears), and it didn’t go well. So I was concerned about this Legoland visit. Some parents with ASD children will share, doing anything with your ASD kid can be challenging. But when a park is bright, and its foundation is based on building bricks and is entirely okay with children running around, the stress you carry in these visits can be minimal, and it’s easy to enjoy the experience. The Legoland Experinece While I have been to the Legoland Park in San Diego, I found this park more manageable, and the view of the surrounding town of Goshen is breathtaking; really, bring the camera. There are seven’ lands.’ You can zig-zag and visit the rides you wish or start from the park’s entry and work your way -looping your way through the park. • Brick Street • Bricktopia • LEGO NINJAGO World | November/December 2021

• • • •

LEGO Castle LEGO City LEGO Pirates Miniland Our favorite rides were Lego Factory Adventure Ride, everything in Ninjago, and Splash Battle (prepare to get wet) like the one in California. My youngest was more into The Wharf, which is a fun sensory playgroundtype ship. Mini-Land at Legoland Of course, LEGOLAND is about legos, many of them, and Mini Land does not disappoint. The ‘land’ features ten destinations from around the world of 22,231,368-ish Lego Bricks. Super impressive, but once you get to the New York land, it is awe-inspiring with the detail and love put into the most iconic spots of all five boroughs of New York City, such as the Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center. I honestly do not want to give it all away because it is pretty special to see the artistry of these masterpieces IRL.

Eating at Legoland Kids have to eat. There are plenty of food choices, such as pizza and pasta at Brickolini’s Pizza & Pasta, smokey’s Brick-B-Que. We brought snacks for our picky eater and ate at Ninja Kitchen. The Legoland Hotel We went big and stayed at The LEGOLAND Hotel. The check-in process (also can be done online before your visit) is contactless, like an airport check-in terminal (minus the line). The fun starts immediately in the lobby with the Castle PlayScape as well as a Lego Workshop. Picture kids running around, playing with LEGOS while parents lounge around the bar area. There was no side-eye from people as my son climbed around them. Hey, this isn’t a spa weekend — we’re taking one for the team, so the bar is much appreciated. The room consists of LEGO-themed rooms — Pirate, Kingdom, LEGO NINJAGO, or LEGO Friends. We stayed in the Ninjago-themed room; the kids treasure


Photo by Donna Duarte-Ladd

hunted in the room, played with Legos stored closely by their Ninjago bunk beds. The hotel features nightly kid entertainment, and breakfast is complimentary for hotel


guests at Bricks Family Restaurant. A pool (open seasonally), a fitness center, and hotel amenities like laundry service can also be found at the hotel.




November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


Holiday Gift Guide Toys that are perfect for the holidays and, most importantly, New York kids By Jana Beauchamp & Donna Duarte-LaDD

24 | November/December 2021

FOR AGES 1�4 1. Fisher-Price® 4-in-1 Ultimate Learning Bot A transforming playtime buddy featuring four ways to play and lots of fun music, lights, and hands-on activities. And with Smart Stages technology, you can switch up the learning content to best fit your child’s age and stage. Age: 6M+ $49.99, fisher-price. com


2. Camille Neighborhood Kids Collectioon If looking for a gift like the dolls you grew up with- this 34” tall handcrafted from 100% cotton is a beauty and ready to added to the holiday gift list. $50, 3. Melissa & Doug Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles This gift will keeps kids busy and learning through hand-eye coordination and motor skills all that help with problemsolving. The handy wooden box doubles as a puzzle board! Age 3+, $13.99,


4. Ada Twist, Scientist On-The-GoLab Set This set has everything curious kids need for a scientific playdate. Parents will love that this travel lab set includes an on-the-go lab case, goggles, beaker, flask, test tubes, removable ruler, six experiment cards, and more. Age 3+, $44.44,


5. Blue’s Clues & You! Kids will love using the play otoscope to check Blue’s ears and play thermometer to check her temperature, and using the play stethoscope to listen to Blue’s heart that makes real beating sounds! Age: 3+; $29.99, 6. Squishmallow Food Squad This ‘Squad’ features the lovable Carmelita the S’more and her collectible, delectable friends. Families will also love the smaller, budget-friendly Squishville Mystery Mini Plush. Age: 0+; Starting at $4.99, squishmallows. com 7. Choppin’ Fun Learning Pot Kids’ will love to pretend to cook, following the five step-by-step recipes to encourage learning with play. Age: 12 months+ $19.99,

4 5


7 November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


FOR AGES 4�8 1. KidiStar DJ Mixer Kids will love to mix and jam with this DJ turntable, with its 15 built-in songs and 2000+ sound combinations. They can create custom sound effects and vocal tags to lay onto tracks, then save samples and add light effects. Age: 5+; $54.99, 2. Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron The adorable Mixie makes sweet sounds, lights up, and interacts with the wand to help create endless spells and fun. Age: 5+ $69.99,



3. The Young Scientists Club Future Veterinarian kit Your animal lover kid will learn what it takes to become a veterinarian and the hands-on learning of how a vet takes care of animals through the use of a working stethoscope, creating a plaster cast, suturing a foam dog, and more. $16.99, 4. Spirograph Animator Kids will love creating endless spiral art designs and then bringing them to life in mesmerizing motion with a spin of the animator. Every design moves in a different way with each of the rotating light effects. Age: 8+; $26.95, 5. Akedo Ultimate Battle Arena A game that takes a retro gaming look and combines it with kids playing one-on-one battles with small ninja, wizards, and warrior action figures using skill, force, weapons, and shields. Age: 6; $29.99,


3 5

6. Rainbow High House A fully furnished, 3-Story Wood Doll House playset that inspires creativity and endless play. Rainbow High dolls (sold separately). Age: 6+; Starting at $44.99, 7. We Wear Cute So Glittery Hand Spa A fun DIY manicure experience. Simply pour the Orbeez seeds into a bowl of water and watch as they grow and then add the Orbeez into the spa. Press the button and enjoy a soothing hand massage as the Orbeez swirl around. Next, design your manicure by using nail stickers and painting glitter. Age: 8+; $19.97,

26 | November/December 2021




Give the Gift of Clean Air


“ IT WILL BLOW YO-OPURRAHMWININFERD!Y ” or 212.239.6200 New World Stages 340 W. 50th St.


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While Rescue Rue is geared for the little ones, it will also appeal to any grownup who has ever been adopted by a pound pup.”

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November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


FOR AGES 8�TWEEN 1. YuMe Among Us Made of super-soft Velboa fabric, this plush is super soft, and yes, you can squeeze it. Sold separately . Age 3+, $24.98, 2. Beetle Taxonomy Paint By Number Banner Your artist will learn about each bug’s name, paint these cards, and have miniature art pieces to keep. Ages 13+, $44, Nathanandco. com 3. Ghosted Game Tweens love weird games and GHOSTED, a game of Boo-Dunnit definitely falls in this category. Ages 10+, $16, 4. Questions for Rebel Girls This book shares quotes and introduces extraordinary women throughout history, allowing the reader to answer questions and be inspired. Ages 6+, $9.99, Rebelgirls. com




5. Pokemon 25th Anniversary Celebrations Elite Trainer Box This Elite Trainer Box includes 10 Pokémon TCG: Celebrations 4-card booster packs, five additional Pokémon TCG booster packs and more. Ages 6+, $93, 6. Artie Max The Coding Robot This robot directly connects to your child’s tablet, phone or home computer, where they can learn to code creatively. Ages 8-12, $109.99,



7. Sphere Dj-Style Headphones These headphones feature a builtin mic, comfy ear cushions, and an adjustable headband. Are compatible with iPhone®, iPad®, Samsung galaxy ®, android™ smartphones, tablets & other 3.5mm audio devices. $5,

7 6

28 | November/December 2021

Enter for a chance to

WIN! Tickets to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester and awesome LEGO® Products! LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester is open and ready for your family to explore the ultimate indoor LEGO Playground! Guests will enjoy a day of family fun with signature experiences including epic rides, 4D LEGO® Cinema, LEGO Racers: Build and Test, MINLAND New York and more. Taking extra precautions for health and safety, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester has implemented stringent cleaning protocols following the guidance of local and national health officials.

Enter online for a chance to win one of three prize packs! • Grand Prize: 4 single-day tickets to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester + LEGO® Marvel SpiderMan Attack on the Spider Lair (total value $169.95) • 2nd Place: 4 single-day tickets to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester + LEGO® DC Wonder Woman vs Cheetah (total value $139.95) • 3rd Place: 4 single-day tickets to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester (total value $99.96)

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers, NY 10710 EXPIRES December 24th, 2021

To enter go to NEWYORKFAMILY.COM/WIN November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


Phen�menal & Fes�ive NYC!

Our Holiday Bucket List BY DONNA DUARTE�LADD


he holidays are here, and we are all about enjoying our city with a magical bucket list for this month’s double issue. Yeah, I said it, magical! For NYC with its pack subways (again) and gridlock traffic somehow always comes out shining during this time of the year. And perhaps it isn’t magic per se, but it’s the people that make this city so phenomenal during the holidays. So whether it’s heading to a favorite museum, enjoying Central Park, or checking out the holiday windows, we’re all in, and we have all the ways you and your family can enjoy this time of the year as well!

Free Ice Skating! The Rink, located at the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park: Nov 16 March 2022

Get your skate on at the only free-admission ice skating rink in NYC. Go online to reserve your spot, and keep in mind that new reservations are open throughout the season. Skate rentals are $15 if you have you do not have skates. Located at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue. The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes: Nov 5 -Jan 2

The Christmas Spectacular is back. Staring the famous Radio City Rockettes, this show is iconic New York, and the entire family will enjoy gorgeous dance numbers and the unity of the Rockettes. Radio City Music Hall, 1260 6th Ave. Visit for time and tickets. North Pole Express by Top View Nov 13 – Jan 2

30 | November/December 2021

Visit this satellite Santa location (wink, wink) and take a journey with Top View for a holiday adventure on the North Pole Express. Dress warmly, sip on hot chocolate, eat delicious cookies all while enjoying the sights of New York. Meet the Express Conductor, an elf, and Santa! Located at 2 East 42nd Street, visit topviewnyc. com for tickets and details. Enjoy Central Park Zoo and Carousel

Surprisingly, when winter permits, the Central Park Carousel ($2.50 a ride and located mid-park at 65th street) and Zoo ( East Side between 63rd and 66th)) are both open. Visiting this park never gets old, and enjoying it during the holidays is extra—tickets for the zoo range from $14.95 to $19.95 with kids under three are free. Holiday Lights at Bronx Zoo: Nov 19 – Jan 9

A family fun favorite is this iconic light show of animal lantern safaris, ice-carving demonstrations, holiday treats, costumed characters, wildlife theater, stilt walkers, and more! Visit Africa, Asia, Latin America, and more on a fun and safe tour of this seasonal celebration. The event is on select dates from November 20-January 10- and tickets must be reserved in advance. The New York Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show: Nov 20 – Jan 23

Visit this popular model train show of 175 landmarks re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials. The train show is located at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, making for a lovely day with the kids. New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx. Visit for price packages.

Photo by Yumi Matsuo

November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


Queens County Farm Museum Illuminate the Farm: Nov 25 – Jan 2

The Winter Lantern Festival located in Queens is a perfect family holiday activity where dazzling lanterns in fantastic shapes such as tractors, farm animals, and flowers illuminate the night. This year- kids can purchase (for $5) a wish lantern of their own to decorate and take home. Queens County Farm Museum7 3-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens, NY. Visit Lighting Largest Hanukkah Menorahs: Nov 28 – Dec 25

Head over to this joyous (and free) lightning of The Largest Menorah lighting in Brooklyn. Every night of Chanukah- New Yorkers commemorate and celebrate this event with music, hot latkes to mark the Maccabean victory of right over might and light over darkness. Located at Grand Army Plaza. Visit NYBG GLOW: Nov 24 – Jan 22

Explore the gardens after dark with a 1.5-mile colorful adventure—the GLOW show. Will light up the gardens on 25 designated nights—visit for dates and tickets. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Nov 25, 9 am-noon

Bring the family together to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which celebrates its 93rd year lining the streets of Manhattan. Central Park West, Columbus Circle, or Sixth Avenue between Central Park South and 38th Street in Manhattan, Holiday Windows

A fun and free holiday tradition is the unveiling of NYC holiday windows. Windows go up around the third week of November. Some of the must-check-out windows are Bloomingdale’s, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Macy’s: Herald Square, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Louis Vuitton, and American Girl (Midtown). Central Park Horse and Carriage Rides

If looking for indulgence this season, take a horse and carriage ride in Central Park. Visit well-known attractions like Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Fields, and more. For more info visit George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker”: Nov 26 – Jan 2

A seasonal classic and a New York holiday tradition where beautiful costumes, a growing tree, and exceptional choreography by New York City Ballet entertain the family. David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza in Manhattan, Macy’s Santaland: Nov 26 – Dec 24

32 | November/December 2021

Visit Santa in IRL! Reservations will open at 5:30 am five days before the date of your wish to visit to minimize wait times and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Macy’s Herald Square, 151 W. 34th Street, 8th floor(across from Au Bon Pain). Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: Dec 1, 6 am – 12 am

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is *Free* to view. If you are in town on Christmas Day, the tree will be lit for 24 hours. On New Year’s Eve, the tree shines from 6 am to 9 pm. 45 Rockefeller Plaza. ‘Twas the Night Before by Cirque du Soleil: Dec 9– Dec 27

The theatrical ‘Twas the Night Before by Cirque du Soleil features acrobats, dancing, and more at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Visit bit. ly/3GFH1V3 for times and tickets. 12th Annual Jackson Heights Winter Caroling Sing & Stroll: Dec 18

Layer up, gather the family and head over to this popular outdoor caroling event. Sing your heart out with winter and holiday songs of all faiths, languages, and cultures as you stroll through Jackson Heights. Meet in front of Cassidy’s Ale House, corner of 31st Ave & 75th St in Queens. 7 pm – 10 pm. Dyker Lights – Dyker Heights

A New York ritual is heading to Dyker Heights to enjoy the gorgeous neighborhood lights. This Brooklyn neighborhood goes all-out on its holiday decorations. Here, you can expect to see life-size Santas, stunning light displays, and possibly even hear Christmas carols. These light displays are between 11th to 13th Avenue or 83rd Avenue to 86th St. Kings Theatre Hip Hop Nutcracker: Dec 11

The Kings Theatre is like no other, meaning they often give a classic-a new spin, literally. The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, is pure joy. Bring the entire family for this show that features a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and MC Kurtis Blow (yes!), who opens the show with a short set. The theatre is located at 1027 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn. Showtimes are at 2 pm and 7 pm. King Theatre The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical: Dec 26

If your family is obsessed with The Elf on the Shelf, then head to Brooklyn for this fun The Elf on the Shelf: The Musical spectacle of music and dance at the North Pole and check-in with Santa’s Scout Elves. Kings theatre brings the family an original story and score, beautiful sets and costumes on this dont miss production. 1027 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn. Showtimes are 2 pm & 7 pm.

Spend a day a� �he

American Museum of Natural History New & Special Exhibitions The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter Opens Saturday, November 20

The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter, an annual favorite, returns to the Museum. Celebrating its 23rd year at the Museum, this popular attraction transforms the coldest day into a summer escape, inviting visitors to mingle with up to 500 fluttering, iridescent butterflies among blooming tropical flowers and lush green vegetation in 80-degree temperatures. Origami Holiday Tree Opens Wednesday, November 24

The delightfully decorated 13-foot Origami Holiday Tree will welcome visitors to the Museum throughout the season. As a celebration of the Museum tradition that started in the early 1970s, the theme of the 13-foot tree is Gems of the Museum, featuring 50 specially created gold-colored models for the “golden anniversary” 50th Origami Holiday Tree. Among the more than 1,000 origami pieces decorating the tree will be models of dazzling specimens from the new Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, jaw-some pieces inspired by the new special exhibition Sharks, and those depicting iconic Museum exhibits like the Blue Whale, Titanosaur, and T. rex. Sharks Opens Wednesday, December 15 with Member Preview Days Friday, December 10 – Sunday, December 12

Fixed in the public imagination as toothy, fearsome predators, sharks are far more fascinating, and more complex, than their depiction in popular culture. Sharks brings to life the incredible diversity of this

Photo by Yumi Matsuo

ancient group of fishes and offers visitors a unique look at pre-historic and modern shark species, their habitats and hunting styles, and the conservation threats these magnificent animals are facing today. Featuring fossils, touch-free media, and a spectacular “parade” of sharks with 30 lifelike models ranging from 33 feet to 5 inched long – including the mega-predator megalodon that’s known as the “Tyrannosaurus rex of the seas,” – the exhibition brings visitors face to face with the

Inside the AMNH’s Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals.

November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


incredible diversity of this ancient and misunderstood group of fishes. Ongoing Exhibitions Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals All-New Permanent Hall Now Open

The all-new Halls which opened this summer offer a brilliant showcase for one of the world’s most important collections of gems and minerals and an engaging guide to our dynamic planet. The exhibits tell the fascinating story of how the vast diversity of mineral species arose on Earth, how scientists classify and study them, and how we use them for personal adornment, tools, and technology. Thoroughly redesigned and reinstalled, the 11,000-square-foot galleries feature more than 5,000 specimens from 98 countries, including a pair of towering, sparkling amethyst geodes from Uruguay that are among the world’s largest on display and a wall-sized panel of fluorescent rock from Sterling Hill in New Jersey that glows in shades of orange and green. Worlds Beyond Earth Hayden Planetarium

Vis��ing �he AMNH!

Hours The Museum is open Wednesday-Sunday, 10 am–5:30 pm. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission Museum admission is free to all New York City school and camp groups. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut residents (with ID) have the option to pay what they wish for General Admission; the reservation must be made online and the transaction must be completed at a Museum ticket counter. General Admission, which includes admission to all permanent exhibition halls and the Rose Center for Earth and Space but does not include special exhibitions, giant-screen 2D or 3D film, or Space Show, is $23 (adults), $18 (students/seniors), and $13 (children ages 3–12). All prices are subject to change. General Admission Plus One includes general admission plus one special exhibition, giant-screen 2D or 3D film, or Space Show: $28 (adults), $22.50 (students/ seniors), $16.50 (children ages 3–12). General Admission Plus All includes general admission plus all special exhibitions, giant-screen 2D or 3D film, and Space Show:

34 | November/December 2021

Space Show Now Open

The Museum’s most recent Space Show is currently screening in the Hayden Planetarium Space Theater. Viewers can journey beyond our own blue planet to marvel at the latest discoveries from our cosmic neighbors. Narrated by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Worlds Beyond Earth takes viewers on an exhilarating journey that reveals the dynamic nature of the worlds that orbit our Sun and features immersive visualizations of space missions and breathtaking scenes depicting the evolution of our solar system. Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker Giant-Screen Film Now Open

The giant-screen film is now showing in the Museum’s LeFrak Theater, which features a 40-foot-high, 66-foot-wide screen with a state-of-the-art digital sound system. The film follows the journey of an endangered Australian sea lion pup named Otto as she learns to navigate her beautiful but harsh coastal environment with the help of her mother and others in her colony.

$33 (adults), $27 (students/seniors), $20 (children ages 3–12). Health Protocols The Museum maintains COVID-19 protocols to protect the health and safety of visitors and has taken steps to maintain a safe environment, including requiring facial coverings for visitors ages 2 and up and upgrading ventilation. As of August 25, 2021, in accordance with the New York City vaccination requirement, visitors ages 12 and older must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the Museum and show proof of vaccination. Personal identification is required for visitors ages 18 and over. Visit for more information about these and other health and safety protocols. Public Information For additional information, the public may call 212-769-5100 or visit the Museum’s website at Follow Become a fan of the American Museum of Natural History on Facebook at facebook. com/naturalhistory and follow us on Instagram at @AMNH or Twitter at twitter. com/AMNH.

Looking forward to next summer?

Meet with day & sleepaway camps in a safe environment to find a great camp for your child • New York Family and the ACA-NY and NJ will be hosting our Annual Camp Fair Series from January through April of 2022 • We will be hosting 10 camp fairs around NYC and in Westchester • This is an opportunity for you to meet one on one with Day & Sleepaway Camp Directors in a safe environment to learn about different opportunities next summer for your child • All events are indoors, to attend the camp fair you must be fully vaccinated and wear a mask while inside at all times

Locations include:

Manhattan Brooklyn Westchester Queens

Presented by

Find out more at

November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family



Charities That Support NY Families How to donate & support, receive help this season BY DONNA DUARTE�LADD


ast year at the height of the pandemic, New Yorkers needed help in record numbers. The reality is that there are New Yorkers, especially families who need help year-round; thankfully, there are amazing non-profits whose sole purpose is to help these families. Whether you are looking for a charity to donate money, give essential items to, or are yourself in need of support from one of these charities, we have five worth knowing. A charity that offers help for the early years: NYC MAMMAS GIVE BACK


When a NYC mother spotted a homeless pregnant woman on the streets, she reached out to other mothers for support. This call for assistance – was met with an outpouring of help. Soon relief was needed to store and itemize the donations that continued to come in as more moms continued to donate, and NYC Mammas Give Back was founded. Working as a non-profit organization, this charity provides pregnancy, postpartum, infant, and early childhood essentials to agencies and shelters in the NYC area. These agencies provide resources specifically to pregnant women, families, and children (ages 0–5) experiencing homelessness and poverty. Donate: Donations of cash are needed for NYC Mammas Giveback or send through Amazon. Helping moms mentally and financially: FRIENDS OF NEW YORK CITY NURSE-FAMILY PARTNERSHIP (

Co-founders Susan Orkin, an MSW & Christine Wasserstein, a psychotherapist, became familiar with NYC NFP (NYC Nurse-Family Partnership )through their philanthropy work. The NYC Nurse-Family Partnership program is run by the Dept of Health and Mental Health in NYC. It is open to anyone 28 weeks pregnant or less with their first baby that meets income


requirements (Medicaid- or WIC-eligible). How it works is the program pairs first-time mothers with nurses that give them muchneeded support. In their charitable workSusan and Chris learned specific programs dramatically improved a mom’s chances to thrive, and NYC NFP had no mechanism to raise funds. They both believed NFP was the most incredible tool to fight poverty and help children succeed and founded Friends of NYC NFP ‘Friends.’ Through the Heart’s Desire Fund (HDF), mothers can pursue postsecondary education. Friends reviews essays | November/December 2021

from mothers and letters of recommendation from nurses. They then channel money that pays tuition and additional resources such as Metro Cards, laptops, books, and short-term child care. Friends also run the LEAP program, a small group program that provides workshops and mommy and baby support to NFP moms. Lastly, Friends supports nurse professional development. While NFP pays for certain courses for nurses, Friends of NYC NFP has funded nurses to expand their professional development to the benefit of

November/December 2021 | Bronx/Riverdale Family



the moms, so they are up to date on the most current topics surrounding maternal and child health. Volunteer: Visit the websiite to learn ways to give through volunteering, offering of time or skills A non-profit that supports single moms: MoMs for MoMs (

Danielle Krupa founded this non-profit that started as a pay it forward along with a group of moms who wanted to support single moms and their newborn babies- by providing them with the essentials all new families deserve. The organization sends care packages throughout New York City to single moms in need. The packages are filled with the essentials a new mother needs after childbirth, such as diapers, wipes, infant clothing, baby bottles, blankets, feminine care products, hygiene items, and more. While the moms are single, some are often going through a hardship such as abuse, homelessness. The packages are distributed through Moms for Moms via agencies they

partner with, such as the NYC Department of Homelessness and Covenant House of New York, and donated via shelters and programs throughout the city. Donate: Visit the Moms for Moms website to learn how to donate money or how to send needed items

Donate: Learn at where to donate at as well as items that can be given to the organization Support for families in essential items and development: rooM to Grow (

Helping families out with the most essential items: LittLe essentiaLs (

Founded in 2011 by mother Sandie Trombert, she noticed local parents in need and knew many parents who wanted to help were looking for ways to help. Working with 31 community partners and 13 emergency partners, Little Essentias helps low-income families throughout New York City. The agency accepts gently used and new donations such as Diapers, current season clothing up to 5 years, babycare essentials such as wipes, diaper cream, baby body wash (unopened). They also accept gear such as Pack’ n plays bassinets, car seats – infant, toddler, boosters, baby carriers and slings, strollers (no jogging strollers), and more.

Parents know that support at the tail end of pregnancy and as new parents are everything. But many, due to not having money and not having a solid support system, do not receive this support. Room to Grow is a three-year program that provides critical support to families by providing parents with essential baby and toddler items. The charity also goes beyond this with assistance to the parent to help their children’s development and connections to community resources that give them a muchneeded support network. Donate: Money donations or baby/ toddler essentials are needed Volunteer: Visit to learn about hosting a collection drive or set up a dropbox

S�ep up y�ur Paren�ing �ame wi�h �ur mus� wa�ch �alks f�r paren�s! We’ve got a list of top-notch experts to speak on timely parenting topics and dish out essential advice. Break the cycle of parental burnout, transform your relationship, learn the latest science on child development and more with our free Speaker Series.

One quick registration gets you access to the entire lineup.

Register now: For additional questions or sponsorship opportunities, please email us at

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