Queens Family - November/December 2021

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Nov/Dec 2021


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November/December 2021


pg. 26

pg. 12 pg. 18

pg. 22


FEATURES 8 | Health Kids ages 5 to 11 can now get the COVID-19 vaccine, here’s what parents need to know 12 | Special Needs When the next step for your child is an IEP 18 | Education Changing your child’s preschool or daycare mid-year

Stories & columns 6 | Editor’s Note November/December: Magic 22 | Family Fun Family-friendly ski resorts for a winter getaway

Photo: Yumi Matsuo | yumimatsuostudio.com Illustration: Béatrice Hug Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | buffysaintmarie.com Shot on location at: American Museum Of Natural History | amnh.org Ava and Milo are wearing: ZARA Kids | zara.com Produced by: Donna Duarte-Ladd

Directories 14 | Special Needs Listings 20 | Preschool/Daycare Spotlight

24 | Giving Charities that support New York families 26 | Holiday Gift Guide Our family toy guide for kids up to tweens 34 | Cover - Phenomenal & Festive Our holiday bucket list


on the Cover

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Production Asst: Courtney Ingalls

November/December 2021 | Queens Family


Editor’s Note

NewYorkFamily.com 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 12) 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 14) 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 26), for little kids to tweens. And for more guides (moms, dads, stocking stuffers, pets....), visit our Gift Guide 2021 at newyorkfamily.com. 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 34) 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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get in touch Share your feedback and ideas about family life in the city! Email us at editorial@newyorkfamily.com and tag us at #newyorkfamily


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p on lo lin re e in op p ti ers on o fo n , o ry r a f u lly ou r c h il d .

Your child deserves a Catholic education We know that you want a great education for your child, with dedicated teachers that serve as role models with strong Catholic values. Catholic Schools in Brooklyn and Queens work to ensure that your child receives all the tools to excel in their future by providing them a Foundation for Life based on Faith, Character, and Academics.

As we start this new school year, it will be a joy to see all our returning students, welcome new children, and celebrate all we have accomplished together.

Ask about financial assistance & scholarship opportunities.

Visit www.catholicschoolsbq.org to learn more or schedule a visit!

November/December 2021 | Queens 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

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2021

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


Enrollment Hours: M-F 5-8:30pm / Sat 10am-3pm

November/December 2021 | Queens Family



Learn more

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


Learn about v-safe (cdc.gov), 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) Vaccines.gov. vaccinefinder.nyc.gov

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

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

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November/December 2021 | Queens 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

NewYorkFamily.com | 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 | Queens Family


special Needs Directory | Special Advertising Supplement Academy for Young Minds

Tele-Health Services Available: Primary Care, Psychiatry, Psychotherapy Learn more at: www.advantagecaredtc.org Call Us Today! 516-686- 4400 Advantage Care Health Centers are state-of-the-art centers that provide: • Primary & Preventive Medical Care For Children And Adults • Comprehensive & Preventative Dental Care For Children And Adults • Psychotherapy • Psychiatry • Podiatry • Women’s Health

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BROOKVILLE AHRC Nassau’s Campus, 189 Wheatley Rd., Brookville, NY




11-20 46th Road Long Island City, NY 646- 670-5999 Info@AYMSchool.org aymschool.org 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 multidisciplinary approach. They value working in partnership with families, professionals, and community to ensure diverse learning opportunities in collaborative ways.



NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2021

Long Island – Nassau County 189 Wheatley Road, Brookville, NY 11545 516-686-4400 advantagecaredtc.org Advantage Care now offers in-person and Tele-Health services to all new and current patients through their secure online platform visit: advantagecare.doxy.me to see how it works. Tele-Health Services for Children and Adults include the Following: Primary Care, Psychotherapy, Psychiatry. Advantage Care continues to take proper measures to keep their patients, community, and staff safe during the pandemic. Advantage Care Health Centers are Long Island’s premier Federally Qualified Health Centers. They accept Medicaid, Medicaid Managed Care Plans, Medicare. The mission of their centers is to provide the highest quality comprehensive primary, dental, mental, and behavioral health care services. They offer these services to all members of the community with a commitment to those who might otherwise be excluded

from the health care system, while remaining cost-effective and efficient. Advantage Care specializes in providing services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Autism Behavioral Consulting Services Karen Bottalico, SAS, SDA 516- 851-8330 kbottalico2002@yahoo.com An Educational Consultant serving Queens and Long Island and the NY Metro area. Working directly with families, services include: Evaluating placement and service options; Accompanying parents throughout the entire CPSE or CSE process which includes meetings, screenings, observations and extensive education history reviews. Other services include Staff Training, School -Based Consultation, FBA Assessment and BIP Implementation, ABA and Verbal Behavior Training Techniques, Behavior Management Strategies, Home/ School Intensive Behavior Intervention Services, Crisis Intervention and Prevention, Home-Based Services and Parent Education Training. Call for more information.

Extended Home Care 7 Penn Plaza, Suite 422 New York, NY 10001 212-356-4200 extendedhc.net Contact Info: Sean Chen, 347-372-0101 schen@extendedhc.net 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.

Family Speech Center 25-32 168th Street Flushing

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Karen Bottalico, SAS, SDA —NYS Certified School Psychologist—

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Our specialty is caring for people with Developmental Disabilities ccabusiness13@gmail.com Our specialty is caring for people with Developmental Disabilities You want your family member, young or old, to have the best 718-316-8057 You want your family member, young or old, to have the best possible quality of life. But accessing all the right services for Extended Care for Quality of Life Extended Home Care serves Special Needs patients of all ages: • • •


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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.

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

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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

www.extendedhc.net www.extendedhc.net November/December 2021 | Queens Family


special Needs Directory | Special Advertising Supplement



(718) 939-0306 www.Familyspeechcenter.com Familyspeechcenter@verizon.net We accept most insurance plans

718-939-0306 familyspeechcenter.com familyspeechcenter@verizon. net At Family Speech Center certified Speech-Language Pathologists are trained professionals who evaluate and diagnose adults and children to identify specific speech, language or swallowing difficulties. Services include speech-language evaluations and treatment for individuals with articulation and stuttering problems. Assessment procedures depend on the age of the client; very small children are assessed in an informal play-based environment. Medical plans and Dept. of Ed IEP’s are accepted for both preschool and school age children. Operated by Niki Stagias-Coulianidis, MA, CCC-SLP and Errika Nathenas-Dimitrakis, MS

Family of Kidz

Check out our new site! We’ve given our New York Family website a major makeover Visit newyorkfamily.com to check it out and sign up for our weekly newsletters! 16

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2021

Serving Long Island & Queens 516-806-6969 familyofkidz.com Family of Kidz has provided therapeutic, educational, and support services to children affected by developmental disabilities, such as autism, for over 25 years. The highest quality of care is given to children in their homes, schools, community, centers, and via remote platforms. In collaboration with families and a dedicated team of professionals, every child is supported in all areas of life. Training for parents and caregivers is also offered. Helping Kidz with special needs achieve their goals is the Family of Kidz mission. Most major insurances accepted for ABA services.

Long Island Center for Speech Locations across Suffolk and Nassau, NY 1-844-5-SPEECH Lispeech.com Specializing in the treatment and correction of language disorders, memory and auditory processing difficulties, fluency, voice disorders, motor planning disorders, deviate swallowing, tongue thrust, feeding problems/ aversions, thumb sucking, articulation disorders and

oral facial muscle weakness, Janine Stein, Speech-Language Pathologist, is owner and operator of the Suffolk Center for Speech and Myofunctional Therapy. Along with her exceptional group of therapists, she supports families and children across Long Island, all participating with most major health insurance companies and offering flexible hours and scheduling, including evenings and Saturdays.

The 13th Child Autism & Behavioral Coaching, Inc ABA Therapy New York City, Long Island, Westchester County Rebecca McKee, MSED, BCBA rebeccabusiness13@gmail.com 718-316-8057 uneepi.com 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 high quality of life including achievement, creativity, friendships, mental reliance & wellness.

Yellow Bus ABA Home and Center Based Care throughout NY. Centers in LI, Queens and Westchester 845-327-7111 Yellowbusaba.com info@yellowbusaba.com Yellow Bus ABA is a therapy group providing consultation and intervention services for individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). They have drawn upon the unique strengths of their highly experienced team of behavior specialists to employ scientifically validated teaching methodology, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), to bring quality care and intervention with lasting results. Yellow Bus ABA offers home and center based care

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Family of Kidz



- Locations in: New Hyde Park, Wantagh, Jericho, Islip Terrace, Commack, Stony Brook, Farmingville, & East Yaphank ALL OFFICE LOCATIONS ARE OPEN AND ARE FOLLOWING ALL CDC GUIDELINES!

Kidz Therapy Services, PLLC is a NYS Provider of Early Intervention evaluations and services and under contract with NY State Department of Health. Evaluations and services are available at no cost to parents, but health insurance may be accessed. Kidz Therapy Services, PLLC is a NYS approved multidisciplinary pre-school evaluation site and under contract with local municipalities. Evaluations and services are provided at no cost to families based on the individual needs of the pre-school child found to have a disability, as determined by the CPSE of the local school district.

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

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

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

November/December 2021 | Queens 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

NewYorkFamily.com | 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

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November/December 2021 | Queens Family



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

Preschools Spotlight

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Special Advertising Supplement

Kuei Luck Early Childhood Centers NEW LIC: 2-03 Borden Ave, Long Island City, NY 718-670-9919 Rego Park/Forest Hills: 99-39 66th Ave, Rego Park, NY 718-679-9909 klpreschool.com With a new location in Long Island City now open for the 2021-22 school year only one block away from Hunter’s Point South Park. Kuei Luck Early Childhood Center is a Reggio- inspired, Mandarin Immersion Nursery & Preschool and believes that early learning experiences have a profound impact on a child’s social, emotional, and intellectual development. Their studentled immersive language model is rooted in exploration, experimentation, and play. Students are encouraged to explore learning through art, music, play, and nature and their approach encourages young learners to deepen their knowledge of subjects they are most curious about. Now enrolling for the current school year and 2022-2023 at the new LIC location. Contact the school for more information.

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

If you are over 65

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


If you are or may be pregnant

If you have other medical conditions

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





November/December 2021 | Queens 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 Smuggs.com

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 Mtpeter.com

Mount Peter may be the only ski and

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2021

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

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

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.

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 Goremountain.com

Plattekill Mountain 469 Plattekill Road, Roxbury, NY 12474 Plattekill.com

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

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

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November/December 2021 | Queens Family



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


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


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

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

NewYorkFamily.com | 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

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 (momsformomsnyc.org)

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 littleessentials.org 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 (roomtogrow.org)

Helping families out with the most essential items: LittLe essentiaLs (littleessentials.org)

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 roomtogrow.org to learn about hosting a collection drive or set up a dropbox

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November/December 2021 | Queens Family


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


NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2021

To Our Friends and Valued Customers from Cord Meyer Development Company and The Bay Terrace Shopping Center


Cord Meyer Development LLC https://cordmeyer.com

November/December 2021 | Queens 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, nathanandco.com 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, melissaanddoug.com


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, walmart.com


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,walmart.com 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, target.com


NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2021

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A Family-Owned Store Offering: – Books for Children and Adults – Gifts & Gift Baskets – Tutoring & Homework Help (by appointment) – Book Signing & Read Alouds – Experienced Special Needs Educators – After School Activities

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Give the Gift of Clean Air

Telecharge.com or 212.239.6200 New World Stages 340 W. 50th St.


www.enviroklenz.com November/December 2021 | Queens 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,Vtechkids.com 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, Walmart.com



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, Amazon.com 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, Amazon.com 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, Target.com


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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, Target.com 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, Walmart.com


NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2021



Looking forward to next summer?

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

Locations include:

Manhattan Brooklyn Westchester Queens

Presented by

Find out more at newyorkfamily.com/camp-fairs summer@newyorkfamily.com

November/December 2021 | Queens 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, Walmart.com 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, Target.com 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, Amazon.com 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, Educationalinsights.com



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, Fivebelow.com

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NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2021

November/December 2021 | Queens 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 rockettes.com/christmas for time and tickets. North Pole Express by Top View Nov 13 – Jan 2


NewYorkFamily.com | 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 nybg.org/visit/admission for price packages.

Photo by Yumi Matsuo

November/December 2021 | Queens 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 Queensfarm.org. 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 Chabadparkslope.com. 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 nybg.org/event/holidaytrain-show-2021/nybg-glow 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, macys.com. 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 centralpark.com/tours/horsecarriage-rides. 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, nycballet.com. Macy’s Santaland: Nov 26 – Dec 24


NewYorkFamily.com | 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). Macys.com 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 | Queens 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:


NewYorkFamily.com | 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 amnh.org/plan-your-visit/covid-19-visitorsstaff 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 amnh.org. 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.