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Nov/Dec 2021 established 1986

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November/December 2021 | New York Family



November/December 2021

pg. 44

pg. 26 pg. 20

pg. 22

pg. 52

FEATURES 8 | Health Kids ages 5 to 11 can now get the COVID-19 vaccine, here’s what parents need to know 12 | Giving Charities that support New York families 16 | Education Changing your child’s preschool or daycare mid-year 26 | Special Needs When the next step for your child is an IEP

Stories & columns 6 | Editor’s Note November/December Magic

20 | Preschool/Daycare Listings 28 | Special Needs Listings

22 | Family Fun Family-friendly ski resorts for a winter getaway 36 | Family Day Out Visit the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum 58 | Spotlight Liz Dare offers fresh style for little ones with her online shop, Hey Sloaney

40 | Travel Visting the Legoland Resort 44 | Holiday Gift Guide Our family toy guide for kids up to tweens 52 | Cover - Phenomenal & Festive Our holiday bucket list


Directories | November/December 2021

on the Cover Photo: Yumi Matsuo | Illustration: Béatrice Hug 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

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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 26) 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 28) 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 44), 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 52) 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

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November/December 2021 | New York 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 | New York Family



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 more

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 | November/December 2021

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.”

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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

A small school that’s BIG on inclusion NYC’s only K-12+ independent inclusion school At IDEAL, we believe that differentiated learning is the key to academic excellence. We offer a supportive environment where all children are valued and celebrated. Join us for our upcoming Open Houses. Call us at 212-769-1699 x10106 or email for more information. November/December 2021 | New York 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

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.

14 | 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

November/December 2021 | New York 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


It takes curiosity, an open mind, and freedom to see things in NEW ways.

Join us, embrace HUMANKIND, and shape the world we inhabit. 117 WEST 95TH STREET NYC | 212.678.2416 | November/December STUDIOSCHOOLNYC.ORG 2021 | New York Family 17


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. 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

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 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

Academic rigor in a family school

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Preschools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement China Institute 100 Washington St., Manhattan 212-744-8181 Now Accepting Applications to China Institute’s Mandarin Immersion Early School Year / Preschool Program, Opening in January 2022! Inspire your future global citizen to begin a lifetime of discovery and inspiration at The School of Chinese Studies! Pre-Kindergartners will love the immersive Chinese language and cultural environment with fun-filled learning experiences every day! Join our next open house in November or December, or stop by every Tuesday through December 21 from 4:30-5:30 PM to see why The School of Chinese Studies has been the leader in Chinese education in New York City since 1933!

Pusteblume International Preschool 244 W 14th St., Manhattan 212-206-1137 A licensed, non-profit, independent preschool for children ages 2 to 5 with German and Spanish language immersion.


Dual language is an option as well. Our school also offers after-school and enrichment programs for all ages that are open to students from other schools. The Pusteblume curriculum is built around inquiry and exploration in the classroom, the school community and the vibrant city that surrounds us. Our licensed, native-speaking faculty teaches music, movement, literacy, visual arts, math and science concepts in a fun and warm learning environment that cultivates the growth and development of your child. Schedule a virtual tour.

The Montessori School of New York International 347 E. 55th St., Sutton Place, Manhattan 212-223-4630 In a lovingly, thoughtfully prepared environment, children explore academic dimensions at their own pace and interest level, helping them grow in confidence, self-esteem and independence. Classes are equipped with imported, didactic Montessori materials that encourage the absorption of concepts through play, leading children to become well-round- | November/December 2021

ed and confident. Program includes Science, Music, Foreign Language, Musical Theatre, Swimming, Dance, Yoga, Sign Language, and Chess. Children do extremely well academically, and are prepared for admission to gifted programs. A unique summer program, staffed by the year-round teachers, offers a balance of continued learning and outdoor activities, including theme-based trips and sports activities.

The Studio School 117 West 95th St., Manhattan 212-678-2416 It takes curiosity, an open mind, and freedom to see things in new ways. Founded in 1971, The Studio School, nursery-8th grade, is a co-ed school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Central to Studio’s philosophy is the knowledge that intellectual vigor and creativity must be firmly rooted in emotional resilience and stability. These roots are carefully nurtured in the earliest stages of a child’s life and education, allowing time and room to grow strong and spread wide. For 50 years, The Studio School has empowered children to integrate who

they are with what they learn, cultivating independent thinkers who embrace academic excellence. Join us, embrace humankind and shape the world we inhabit.

Wetherby-Pembridge School 7 East 96th St., Manhattan 646-213-3400 jean.monaco@ (dir. of admissions) At Wetherby-Pembridge, the 2021-2022 school year has been full of inspiration, resilience, progress, and fun. All of the students have taken part in rigorous academics combined with a full range of school-wide activities like karate, forest school, cooking, dance, and STEAM classes. The children have blossomed and grown in confidence and self-esteem and even their youngest learners have enjoyed being part of the wider pupil community, participating in music, art, trips, and sports at the 92Y. Their sense of joy, togetherness, and optimism encourages even the youngest students in a love of school and learning.

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Schedule your virtual tour to find out what makes us so special. 244 West 14th Street, NYC, NY 10011 212-206-1137 school office 646-251-2179 mobile November/December 2021 | New York 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

November/December 2021 | New York Family


Family fun

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

Italiano per bambini? Si, si!

We think learning should be fun for everyone! Our students learn Italian through games, songs, stories, and so much more!

$MBTTFT GPS LJET BOE UFFOT BSF BWBJMBCMF POMJOF BOE JO QFSTPO Group classes offer the opportunity to learn Italian alongside friends! Private and semi-private classes offer flexible scheduling and a customized curriculum! Stay tuned for specialty classes workshops, BOE IPMJEBZ BDUJWJUJFT coming soon! a

24 | November/December 2021

Get Outside and Have Some Fun! • Skiing, snowboarding and tubing • Learn how to ski or ride this season • Book online at, space is limited • Free beginner lessons every weekend & holiday New York’s Family Mountain

51 Old Mt. Peter Road Warwick, NY 10990 (845) 986-4940 November/December 2021 | New York 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.

November/December 2021 | New York Family


special Needs Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Academy for Young Minds 11-20 46th Road Long Island City, NY 646- 670-5999 AYM is an independent private school for mid-high functioning school-age children on the autism spectrum. Led by Board Certified Behavior Analysts®, the school focuses on social and functional language skills and provides personalized, rigorous curriculum using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. AYM’s core philosophy strives to ensure that all learners on the autism spectrum can achieve their potential and successful integration into society. The school’s educational model is deeply rooted in Applied Behavior Analysis, personalized instruction, and the multi-disciplinary approach. They value working in partnership with families, professionals, and community to ensure diverse

learning opportunities in collaborative ways.

Camp Lee Mar 450 Route 590, Lackawaxen, PA 18435 (215) 658-1708 A private 7 week residential summer program offering a unique curriculum incorporating a strong Academic and Speech program with traditional camp activities. Campers flourish at Lee Mar due to the structured environment we provide which allows our campers to feel comfortable and secure. Careful study is made of parent input, school (IEPs), camper interview, etc., so that the interests and needs of each child can best be determined for suitable grouping prior to the camper arriving. At Lee Mar the children find comfort and friendship with children of similar age and functioning level. From this foundation campers are encouraged to

embrace and learn new skills and have new experiences which they can build upon on their return home.

Extended Home Care 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.

Forman School 12 Norfolk Road, P.O. Box 80 Litchfield, CT 06759 86-56-1802 The Forman School is a co-educational boarding and day school in Litchfield, Connecticut, offering a college preparatory program for grades 9 to 12 and a postgraduate program (PG) exclusively for students with learning differences such as ADHD and dyslexia. Forman educates high school students and postgraduates with diagnosed learning differences – and ensures that 100% of them get into a four-year college. By exploring abundant academic, artistic, athletic, and social opportunities, Forman students build identities that outshine their diagnoses. Located on a classic New England prep school campus, Forman attracts local day

Different done better. Other schools may say they support learning differences. But no other school does it like Forman.

860.567.1802 • Litchfield, CT

Forman is a traditional college preparatory boarding and day school with a mission to empower students with diagnosed learning differences to become self-confident learners.

28 | November/December 2021

Rebecca School provides a DIR/ Floortime™ model program for children ages 3 to 21 with neurodevelopmental delays in relating and communicating, include Autism Spectrum Disorders. We are committed to meet each child’s unique needs, celebrate their strengths and support their limitations.

Applications are being accepted now for 2022-23! In person tours are offered on Friday afternoons at 3:45PM. RSVP required. 1]\bOQb( 3ZWhOPSbV =¸AVSO /R[WaaW]\a 2W`SQb]` & " S]aVSO.`SPSQQOaQV]]Z ]`U eee `SPSQQOaQV]]Z ]`U

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 | New York Family


special Needs Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

The Westchester School • NYS approved and funded non-public school providing therapeutic and educational services to students diagnosed with AU, MD, ID, OHI, OI, ED, & PWD, ages 3 - 21, with locations in Yonkers & North Salem • Ungraded, self-contained classrooms with a student to staff ratio of 12:1:4 & 8:1:2 in SchoolAged classrooms and a ratio of 10:1:2 in Preschool classrooms. • Customized classroom instruction based on IEP goals, enhanced with SMART boards, IPads, and computers in every classroom • Counseling, Behavioral Services, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, as well as Speech and Language Therapy


• Assistance with transitioning to post academic life by providing Vocational and Job Skill opportunities • Adaptive Physical Education and a Sensory Room

students and boarding students from more than 28 states and 10 countries.

strong foundation for lifelong learning and independence.

Rebecca School Gillen Brewer School 410 East 92nd Street 212-831-3667 Founded in 1992, this school provides a family-oriented, early childhood program for children ages 2.8 to 10 years old with language-based and non-verbal learning disabilities. They offer a 12-month program that provides developmentally appropriate academic instruction, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, play therapy and counseling, music, art, science, technology, sports and physical fitness. Learning and growing in a secure and nurturing environment, our students develop the skills necessary to overcome challenges. They work closely with their families to instill self-confidence and build a

40 East 30th Street New York, NY 10016 212-810-4120 Rebecca School is a therapeutic day school for children ages 3 to 21 with neurodevelopmental delays in relating and communicating including Autism Spectrum Disorders. The curriculum and related services are supported through the use of DIRFloortime® which, at its core, is a developmental model that places relationships at the foundation of learning. By organizing our classrooms into sensory, symbolic, and semi-structured spaces; daily work is kept appropriate to a student’s needs and interests. Along with sensory gyms, art & music therapy rooms, a library and rooftop playground, each

Openings Available for Immediate and 2022-23 Placement • Independent, 12-month, special education program for students ages 2.8–10 years old • Serving students with learning disabilities, speech and language disorders, deficits/delays in executive functioning, gross and fine motor, sensory processing, and social/emotional skills • Three teachers, plus a Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, and Psychologist assigned to each class Contact: Julian Parham Santana Director of Admissions | 212-831-3667

30 | November/December 2021

410 East 92nd Street New York, NY 10128 Instagram: @gillenbrewer

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Inclusion Education at The IDEAL School of Manhattan Where Every Child is Welcome By Mia SalaS


hether it’s in the classroom or at an after-school activity, we always want our kids to feel like they can be their true selves. Sure, maybe they’re too young to know exactly who they are yet, but we’re always trying to create and find an environment of support and encouragement so that they can feel free to explore. When we came across The IDEAL School of Manhattan-- New York’s only K-12+ independent inclusion school that focuses on understanding and celebrating students on an individual level-we knew we had to share! Here’s the rundown about this incredible Upper West Side school: it opened in 2006 with just 20 students, and today IDEAL has 200+ students. Even though the school has grown a lot since then, it still maintains a low student:faculty ratio of 3:1 for the Lower School and 4:1 for the Upper School. IDEAL prides itself on Inclusion, Diversity, Excellence, Acceptance, and Leadership. But what we’re most excited about (and can’t wait to share more!) is the researchbased commitment to inclusion education. So what does inclusion education look like at IDEAL? From instruction to assessment to outside the classroom, your kids will be recognized for their unique talents and strengths. With differentiated instruction, students get to pursue the same subjects but at varied levels and speeds. When you join IDEAL, you’ll get to choose one of three programs for your child: Standard, Zenith, or Dylan. Both Zenith and Dylan are designed for students who need extra support in their education outside of whole-class instruction time. This may

include speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and counseling as well as additional layers of differentiation and modification in the classroom. All students, regardless of the program, will have a teaching team of learning specialists and general educators so that they can learn, grow, and shine at their own pace. Fun fact: IDEAL was actually founded by three families who were looking for a NYC school that would

offer individualized attention for their children with Down syndrome. Unable to find a school that welcomed their kids the way they needed to be, these families decided to start one themselves. To this day, IDEAL is grounded in acceptance, so you can be sure that your kids-- no matter their background, educational level, social skills, etc.-- will be warmly welcomed to the school community. Opportunities to broaden cultural awareness and understanding are also very much a part of the IDEAL curriculum, where the arts are intertwined with academics. Both within classes and after school, where activities including sports and drama are fully inclusive, students are guided towards empathy, voice, and selfadvocacy skills so they can feel empowered to empathize, speak up, and make change. Service learning is also key through all grades at IDEAL, in which students get to engage in their communities in helpful, meaningful ways. Want to learn more about IDEAL to see if it’s the right fit for your family? RSVP for a virtual open house, check out scholarship and tuition packages offered, and get a glimpse into student life. Visit to read more!

November/December 2021 | New York Family


special Needs Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

floor offers quiet areas for students requiring a calming atmosphere.

The IDEAL School of Manhattan 314 West 91st Street New York, NY212-769-1699 A Small School That’s Big on Inclusion. At the IDEAL School of Manhattan, we believe that differentiated learning is the key to academic excellence. We offer a supportive environment where all identities and abilities are celebrated. Our diverse and nurturing community thrives in a robust academic program, where students recognize their potential to effect change and gain the tools to do so, advocating for themselves and standing behind others, seeking out difference, and understanding that only in community are we IDEAL. Visit a virtual open house to learn more about New York’s only K-12+

independent inclusion school. admissions admissions/open-houses

high quality of life including achievement, creativity, friendships, mental reliance & wellness.

Westchester School The 13th Child Autism & Behavioral Coaching, Inc ABA Therapy New York City, Long Island, Westchester County Rebecca McKee, MSED, BCBA 718-316-8057 The 13th Child Autism & Behavioral Coaching, Inc. is an ABA consulting company focusing on individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Building pro-social skillfulness & interpersonal inclusive behaviors remain the targets. Families can benefit by learning the fundamentals of Applied Behavior Analysis, in order to create harmony in their homes. The 13th Child Autism & Behavioral Coaching, Inc. believes all people are entitled to a

45 Park Avenue Yonkers, NY 10703 520 Route 22 North Salem NY, 10560 33 Seymour St. Yonkers NY, 10703 914-376-4300 The Westchester School’s main campus is a year round, NY state approved special education day facility located in Yonkers NY. The school’s 3 locations serve individuals with autism and multiple handicaps as well as children who are medically fragile. In addition to serving Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Dutchess and Orange counties, they also support the Mid-Hudson area, New York City and Fairfield County, CT.

Winston Prep NYC, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut & California NYC: 126 West 17th St, New York, NY 10011 212-496-8400 Winston Prep is a leading school for students with learning differences. Understanding is one of the key ingredients as part of the Continuous Feedback System (CFS) (a hyperlink) , which is a central component of Winston Prep’s innovative learning model. The CFS system is designed to gain a deeper understanding of their students. The faculty at all campuses facilitate independence through continual assessment, remediation, and analysis of each student’s response to their individualized program. Learn more at www. and register for an open house!

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Rebecca School

ebecca School follows the DIR/ Floortime™ (Developmental, Individual-difference, Relationship based) model of Dr. Stanley Greenspan. In July of 2005, Tina McCourt, Rebecca School’s Program Director, began collaborating with Dr. Stanley Greenspan, co-creator of the DIR method, to develop the school that exists today. The school enrolls over 150 students ranging in age from 3 to 21 years old, with neurodevelopmental delays in relating and communicating, including Autism Spectrum Disorders. Their 40,000 square foot facility encompasses 6 floors and 18 classrooms. The school has an art studio, including a pottery wheel and kiln. There is a library, three music studios, two sensory gyms, two kitchens and a rooftop playground. Classrooms are carefully organized into different areas including sensory, symbolic, and semi-structured. The student’s day is spent moving through activities that address


their individual developmental levels and work to move them up the developmental ladder to become thinking, relating, communicating members of his/her community At Rebecca School, building meaningful, respectful relationships is the foundation of learning. With collaboration between school, home, and the community, the learning goes beyond the classroom. Their academic program focuses on the student’s passions, interests, and lived emotional experiences. Teachers create individualized lessons to address both | November/December 2021

the developmental and interest levels of each student. The Rebecca School utilizes a transdisciplinary therapeutic model. Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Physical Therapists, Mental Health Clinicians, and Creative Arts Therapists work in individual pull-out sessions and therapeutic small groups. Classroom staff members often facilitate or observe therapeutic sessions so that their student’s goals can be carried over in the classroom and throughout the day. Skills are always taught in the context of a relationship. For more information and to schedule a tour, please contact Elizabeth O’Shea, Admissions Director at eoshea@ Rebecca School 40 East 30th Street New York, NY 10016 212-810-4120

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Forman School is Dedicated to Empowering Bright Students


ounded in 1930, Forman School is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory school exclusively dedicated to empowering bright students who learn differently in grades 9-12 and PG. The original school board included Samuel Orton, who pioneered the study of dyslexia, and physicist Albert Einstein, who also faced reading challenges as a student. Today, Forman’s expert faculty deliver unparalleled education for bright, academically motivated students with identified learning differences, such as dyslexia and ADHD. Forman is situated on a 125-acre picturesque New England campus in Litchfield, Connecticut, featuring state-ofthe-art facilities for academics, athletics, and the arts, and gathering spaces. Based on their unique learning profile, Forman develops the whole student so that every graduate becomes an educated, confident, self-advocate throughout life. Forman offers a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum and flagship programs that spur students to become self-aware learners, learn by doing, and pursue projects of their own imagination. The School provides students the resources to discover what they care about, find success in a vast range of fields, and be themselves beyond their diagnoses. Forman’s 100% college placement rate reflects the reignited passion for learning that students experience at the School. Students graduate from Forman as independent learners and persuasive self-advocates prepared to take the next step in their lives with confidence. In a traditional boarding school setting, Forman’s 240 students are guided in learning strategies by specialists who are also coaches, mentors, and dorm parents. With a studentfaculty ratio of 4:1, students move outside their comfort zone and explore new ideas with the support of others in a close-knit community. Teachers, staff members, counselors, and dorm parents are all equipped and available to address the needs of students with learning differences at all times. Students focus on in-depth learning experiences in a modular system, meeting for 70-minute blocks in each course five days per week. Courses in the modular schedule

emphasize depth of understanding rather than mere coverage of content. This emphasis lends itself to the development of the essential skills of a discipline. It also supports the development of the reading and writing expectations that students will face in college. Forman School’s foundational mission is to be a center for scientific and practical studies of the best ways to teach students with learning differences. The Cognition & Learning Department is a natural extension of that mission. The department runs a robust professional development program to keep teachers on the leading edge of learning science. For students, the department assigns courses, including Metacognitive Strategies, Multisensory Reading, Executive Function Coaching, and Perspectives in Learning, based on their unique learning profiles. Science has proven that students with learning differences thrive in settings where they can learn by doing. Forman students have opportunities to conduct scientific research in the Costa Rican rainforests, travel globally during two-week intensive courses of study, and grow their leadership abilities with rock climbing, boatbuilding, white water kayaking, and other expeditions. The Promethean Program at Forman is a semester or year-long course offering students with strong interests and talents the opportunity to pursue their passions and bring their ideas to fruition. Forman provides resources for projects in product development, the arts, programming, mathematics, web design, and more. This

hands-on, learner-centered program comes to life in a Promethean Lab, a fully equipped makerspace. Students with learning differences tend to excel in the arts. For that reason, Forman offers students every opportunity to funnel their creativity productively. Forman’s Visual and Performing Arts Center includes spacious classrooms for dance, photography, videography, theater, ceramics and pottery, jewelry making, drawing and painting, and more. Dozens of arts courses invite students to channel their creativity, appreciate various forms of human expression, and express themselves in disciplined ways. The learning outside of the classroom is just as important as what happens inside the classroom at Forman. Beyond the required course load, students are immersed in extracurricular activities such as athletics, clubs, and leadership opportunities. Student involvement balances out their academic side, shaping them into whole, healthy, wellrounded individuals. Outside of the standard academic year, Forman also offers a four-week Summer Program for students who would benefit from an individualized approach to learning entering grades 7-11. Students attend classes and workshops to discover their learning styles, self-advocacy, research-proven strategies, and executive function skills. Afternoon activities include jewelry making, boat building, athletics, ropes course, theater, horseback riding, fishing, and more. Learn more at

November/December 2021 | New York Family


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Gillen Brewer School

ere at New York Family, we’re always on the lookout for pioneers in education for kids with special needs. We know how important it is that our children feel comfortable, and individuallyrecognized. Gillen Brewer strives to develop kids into confident, independent, and engaged learners so that they can achieve their full potential at school and beyond. If you’re in search of a school that will take the time to understand who your child is and what kind of support they need, then Gillen Brewer is for you. Teachers and therapists team up to address each student’s needs and pace of learning. Class sizes are small-- ranging from 8:1:2 in Preschool and 10:1:2 to 6:1:2 in School-Age-- so that your kids can thrive in a collaborative, yet individualized environment. The curriculum is enhanced by music, art, science, technology, and physical fitness, so your kids will be introduced to a variety

of subjects and have the support to explore their interests. What we also love about the school is their academic-therapeutic program. Therapy sessions are integrated throughout the school day and in addition to the three teachers in each class, there is one Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, and Psychologist assigned to each classroom. During speech and language therapy, pathologists will guide your kids towards expressing their thoughts, and feelings in school, with their families, and in the greater community. In occupational therapy, students focus on visual-perceptual, gross motor, fine motor, self-care and sensory processing skills. In counseling, psychologists encourage social-emotional learning, in which students work on building healthy relationships, managing their behavior, setting personal goals, and more. If Gillen Brewer is sounding like the right school for your family, and you’re curious to

learn more, we’ve got you covered! The diverse student body commutes from all five NYC boroughs and surrounding areas. Specifically, Gillen Brewer supports students with learning disabilities, speech and language disorders, and deficits and/or delays in executive functioning, gross and fine motor, sensory processing, and social/ emotional skills. This may also include students on the Autism Spectrum (mild/moderate to high functioning), as well as those with ADD/ADHD, anxiety, and a variety of genetic syndromes. The Family Program facilitates the School-Home Partnership and supports parents as they develop an understanding of their child and acquire the information and strategies with which they can be their child’s strongest and most supportive advocate. There are also parent support groups, and workshops. Check out Gillen Brewer approach to learning and apply today!

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

34 | November/December 2021

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Winston Preparatory School Education for the Individual


inding the right school for children with learning differences can be a challenge. Even though NYC is home to some of the best schools in the country, as parents we want to make sure that the best school is also the right school. We want a school that will see our child for who they are, not simply for what they can do. That’s why, when we heard the buzz around Winston Preparatory School, we knew we had to share with our NYC parents and beyond! If you’re looking for a school that supports students with learning differences through individualized focus, expert teaching, and diversity & inclusion, then Winston Prep is for you. Winston Prep is a leading school network for students 8-12 years with learning differences, including dyslexia, ADHD, and nonverbal learning disorders (NVLD). Founded in 1981, Winston Prep has grown into an extensive network of campuses in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, and California. There’s even an online program that makes a Winston Prep education accessible to anyone, anywhere. Winston Prep’s high school graduation rate is 99.7% whereas over 18% of students in the nation with learning differences drop out of school. Over 80% of Winston Prep graduates enroll in college, versus 33% nationwide. All is to say that the Winston Prep educational method works! What makes Winston Prep special is their dedication to each individual student. Winston Prep’s Continuous Feedback System (CFS) was designed to gain a deeper understanding of our students, facilitating independence through continual assessment, remediation, and analysis of a student’s response to their individualized program. Additionally, through WPS’ Focus Program, students receive daily, one-on-one instruction that’s geared towards their individual needs and goals. Your child will spend 45 minutes every day with a Focus teacher,

who will get to know your child both as a student and a person: their strengths and challenges, interests and passions, progress and activities etc. What we love about the Focus Program is that we as parents get a direct window into our child’s academic and social development at school. Focus teachers readily communicate how your child is doing and what goals they’re currently working towards. No need to jump through hoops to contact teachers-Winston Prep makes sure that parents are always kept informed. We should add that the Focus Program is distinctly different from “extra help” on homework or classroom assignments. Yes, the Focus Program should enhance your child’s academic performance, but the bigger picture is that Winston Prep finds the right solutions to help your child learn. These solutions go beyond one homework assignment, but rather apply to all aspects of your child’s learning profile. Discovering how students best learn on an individual basis then helps them achieve their academic and social-emotional goals and goals both in and outside of the classroom. Not only does Winston Prep put programs like Focus into action, but they’re committed to research in education so

that they can continually develop and improve upon their methods. Through research and experience, Winston Prep identifies eight important skills through the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner (QSIL) that really matter and are correlated with postsecondary success and independence. Resilience, social responsibility, self advocacy, self-regulation, self-reflection, social & communication skills, problem-solving, and management & organization are qualities that encourage students to better understand themselves and others. Although Winston Prep is dedicated to individualized learning, they’re also advocates of collaboration. We know how important it is for our children to be able to work with others-- teamwork makes the dream work! Through collaboration in the classroom, students are also encouraged to embrace Winston Prep’s emphasis on diversity & inclusion. Every child is unique and has something special to bring to the table. Students learn to understand, recognize, and welcome each other’s differences. Curious to learn more about Winston Prep and see if it’s the right fit for your family? Check out the Winston Prep campuses at!

November/December 2021 | New York Family


family day out

Brooklyn Museum

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams An exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of creativity & style By Maya LaidLer


he Brooklyn Museum never disappoints with its exhibits, and the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is just that. A gorgeous presentation that showcases the evolution of one the most prolific designers ever, Christian Dior.


With over 200 haute couture garments drawn directly from the Dior archive along with photographs, sketches, archival videos, accessories, and a variety of sights for the audience to immerse themselves in. Dior, who was born in Normandy, France, before moving to Paris as a small child, founded the brand in 1946. While Dior created the House of Dior, its fame only grew with the six successors who became designers for the line. The exhibition opens with Christian Dior’s New York Collections. Visitors walk | November/December 2021

through garments from some of his first collections, echoing the influences of his early life and his inspirations from American Women. The collection shown was deemed the “New Look” with its revolutionary style and attempts to bring Paris styles to New York. The show runs until February 19, 2022, at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn 11238. Adult tickets $25, Students & Seniors $16, Child (ages 4-12) $10.

Camp Lee Mar

Camps • Workshops • Classes • Shows

Camp Lee Mar, located in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, is a coed overnight camp for children and teenagers (from 7 to 21) with mild to moderate developmental challenges.

Camps Dec 20 - 23 • Dec 27 - 31 • Feb 21 - 25 Encore The 3 Little Pigs Dec 5th & 12th @ 2pm


t 7Se0ason!

2022 Dates: June 25 - August 8

Please visit our new updated website!


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!

• Fun traditional summer camp activities • Academics • Speech and language therapy • Daily living skills • Teenage campers enjoy social dancing every week with an end-of-summer “Prom” • Optional trips during the summer • Exceptional facilities featuring air conditioned bunks and buildings • Junior Olympic heated pool • Caring Nurturing Staff • Lee Mar L.I.F.E. (Living Independently Functional Education) Program. Launched during the summer of 2015, the unique feature of our L.I.F.E. Program incorporates everyday living skills into a personalized daily program. We have a fully functional apartment specifically for this program with a large kitchen, washer and dryer, two bathrooms, a living room and bedroom.

Winter Office: Camp Lee Mar Ph: 215-658-1708 Fax: 215-658-1710 Email: Like us on Facebook Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. On YouTube you can view parents and campers talking about their experiences at Lee Mar. November/December 2021 | New York Family


Family day out


A. The six successors of Christina Dior are all displayed with garments from their collections. These include designers Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Garzia Chiuri.


B. As if walking into the eighteenth century, a collection of styles inspired by the femininity of the period is displayed with decor inspired by Dior’s design of the 30 Avenue Montaigne building. The dresses shown incorporate styles accentuated in eighteenth-century paintings that Dior drew inspiration from such as corsets and full skirts. This section of the gallery invokes a sense of awe at the gorgeous garments and is a full experience for anyone, whether or not they are interested in fashion. C

C. Throughout the exhibition, the dress-making process is portrayed, from full-scale 3D mockups of the finished designs to sketches, as well as photographs. Ateliers, the workshops in which these garments are made are shown here in a magical room encased in mirrors for an infinite illusion. D

D. For a display of color that will surely amaze the whole family, “Colorama” is a section that displays the full palette of colors used by the House of Dior. Each choice of color has a different meaning and is created to represent a harmonious vision. E

E. Further, into the exhibit, there is a section dedicated to photography where visitors will find many familiar faces of pop culture icons and celebrities.

All photos courtesy Brooklyn Museum

38 | November/December 2021

The Cathedral School

319 E. 74th Street | 212 249-2840 | | “A classical education for the modern world” | Founded in 1949

An independent preschool and day school committed to fostering the natural curiosity, intelligence, and creativity of children through excellence in education.

Private & virtual tours available Now

• Small class size and nurturing atmosphere • Individual attention to each student • Strong community spirit and amazing teachers

Limited seat openings for: Nursery Program, PreK4, K–5th Grades


creativity, collaboration, and the spark of genius in every child

since 1872 Nursery – Grade 12

Register for a virtual open house 212.724.6360 | Educating global leaders on campus and virtually New York | London | Seoul Shanghai | Dubai | Global Online

November/December 2021 | New York 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.

Full Day Program: Nursery – Kindergarten Saturday Program: Nursery – 12th Grade LKJ also offers a Summer Camp and a Virtual Tutorial Program Call SChool to reGiSter For a Private tour

225 East 43rd Street, Manhattan, NY 10017 212-681-7929

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 | New York Family



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

Your choice today creates opportunities for tomorrow!

Easy Apply Online:

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.

¡Su elección hoy crea oportunidades para mañana! Solicitud fácil en línea

¡Los lugares quinto grado ya están para estudiantes Fifth grade de spots are now available fordisponibles NEW and transfer students! y transferidos!We Actualmente estamos aceptando de estudiantes are currently accepting studentsolicitudes applications NUEVAS los 5-10 grados el año school escolaryear. 2021-2022. forpara grades for5-10 the para 2021-2022

¡Los lugares lugares de quinto quinto grado y ¡Los grado ya yaestán estándisponibles disponiblespara paraestudiantes estudiantes transferidos! ActualmenteActualmente estamos aceptando solicitudes de solicitudes estudiantes NUEVOS y transferidos! estamos aceptando NUEVAS para loslos grados 5-10 para el año escolar 2021-2022. de estudiantes para grados 5-10 para el año escolar 2021-2022.

New Heights Academy Charter School serves students in grades 5-12 and once accepted, your child will automatically have a seat at our competitive high school.

New Heights Academy Charter School atiende a estudiantes en los grados 5-12 y una vez aceptado, su hijo automáticamente tendrá un asiento en nuestra competitiva escuela secundaria.

We are still accepting applications for SY2122

Todavía aceptamos la solicitud para SY2122

Email questions to: 1818 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10031 (212) 283-5400

Envíe preguntas por correo electrónico a: 1818 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10031 (212) 283-5400

42 | November/December 2021

Virtual Open House Dates: • Thurs., Nov. 18, 2021 @ 2pm • Mon., Nov. 22, 2021 @ 2pm • Thurs., Dec. 16, 2021 @ 2pm

Register private and Open OpenHouse Housedates dates Register onlinefor for private tours tours and Register online for private tours and Openonline House dates Register online for private tours and Open House dates ZZZ /\FHXP.HQQHG\ RUJ ZZZ /\FHXP.HQQHG\ RUJZZZ /\FHXP.HQQHG\ RUJ ZZZ /\FHXP.HQQHG\ RUJ

Green Meadow Waldorf School

Rolling Admissions

Now busing from Tarrytown and NYC 845-356-2514

November/December 2021 | New York Family


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

44 | November/December 2021

A perfect gift this holiday season!

Give the Gift of Clean Air

Join the fairies on their adventures as they meet new animal friends along their travels, but be careful — you might get sprinkled in fairie dust! AGES 48 “The Fairies Meet the Lions” is available to purchase at: BARNES AND NOBLE • AMAZON • XLIBRIS • KINDLE

November/December 2021 | New York Family


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,

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4 5



November/December 2021 | New York 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,

48 | November/December 2021




“If you are looking to introduce your preschooler to musical theater, ������������������������������������


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.”

- Talkin’ Broadway

A family-friendly musical about a little dog named Rue who realizes life is really about finding your happy beginnings, not endings! Told by a colorful cast of puppets and people. For all ages!

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November/December 2021 | New York 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

50 | November/December 2021

Par�ner wi�h Us



“ IT WILL BLOW YO-OPURRAHMWINFINERDY ! ” 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 or calling 718.260.4554 or 212.239.6200 New World Stages 340 W. 50th St. November/December 2021 | New York 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

52 | 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 | New York 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

54 | 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 | New York 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:

56 | 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.

November/December 2021 | New York Family



Hey Sloaney Mama Liza Dare offers fresh style for the littles BY DONNA DUARTE�LADD


iza Dare has always loved fashion and was part of a group of boutique owners who helped shape the Williamsburg neighborhood’s popular style vibe years back. Liza’s kids’ store, Cute Attack, was stocked with brands from all over the world. The store captured the unique style of North Brooklyn, a vibe that frankly makes Greenpoint/ Williamsburg known for its unique fashion look. Now, as a mother of two-year-old Sloane, Liza has found her love for fashion reignited by her child’s joy of clothes and the fun she has in styling her every day. And like so many moms who reassessed what they wanted in work-life during this pandemic, Liza knew she wanted to start an online shop destination. Inspired by her own muse Sloane and her group of friends, Liza founded Hey, Sloaney (, a curated unisex line of clothing for little kids that is well made and, most importantly, meant for play. You owned a much-loved children’s boutique (Cute Attack) long before you had kids. What is it about children’s wear that inspires you? Today, much of children’s fashion is a fun reflection of adult contemporary fashion. It’s cool to see how styles change and how lately, many fashion feels inspired by children’s fashion! I’ve loved clothing since I can remember. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, and when I opened Cute Attack, one of my closest friends and my sister had just had children, so baby fashion was on my mind! Now that you have the ultimate style muse in your daughter Sloane how does she inspire you in how you curate Hey Sloaney? Sloane is very opinionated and has a lot to say. When I first started, she and her friends were the inspiration for everything I curated. Now, I know there are some colors or patterns she loves and some she would never wear. I’m not just buying for parents, I’m buying with for parents who want their kids to actually put their clothes on in the morning! I’m inspired by her strong will and independence, her love of snuggling and taking care of her baby doll, major dance skills, crazy laugh, and love of dirt. She takes after her mother in that she loves clothing, so I want her to have fun with her fashion! It’s


an honor to be her mother (and stylist). You have shared that community means more than anything to you now, did having a tight community especially during the height of the pandemic help you in how you made choice in work, like starting your own business? Absolutely! I felt so lost after having Sloane. I loved her so much, but I had postpartum anxiety which the pandemic did not help. In the Summer of 2020, I started to slowly form my community. Being around moms going through what I was going through, helped me find myself again. I started to slowly style again, style Sloane, and be transparent about what I | November/December 2021

wanted for my future. My friends gave me the confidence to take the first steps in opening my own business again. It felt like something for myself that I could also share with them. What are the next steps for Hey Sloaney? I will be hosting Pop-Ups so shoppers can see the clothing in person. The first one is in December at Parachute Brooklyn, one of our favorite buy-sell-trade shops in Greenpoint. I’ve also been doing postpartum styling and I’m considering somehow intergrading it with Hey Sloaney. It’s such a confusing transition and women deserve to feel supported and good about themselves.

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

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