Queens Family - June 2022

Page 1

June 2022

newyorkfamily.com


OasisOasis Summer Summer Camp at Camp Fort Totten at LIU (Bayside) POST

CAMP BEGINS: JUNE 27, 2022

NOW MORE THAN EVER�

YOUR CHILDREN NEED A SUMMER OASIS�

A Premier Camp, Uniquely Affordable Daily HotGrounds Lunch Included Pristine with A Rich History Transportation Options Beautiful Suburban Location on the LI Sound Weekly Theme Days and Specialized Programs Special Events That Are Age Appropriate (3-15)Instructional Daily Swim In An Indoor Instructional and Olympic Size Saltwater Recreational Swim in a Full-Size Outdoor Pool

Daily Travel Program For Carnival, Dress-up days, Teens Ages 11-14 Color War Extended Day Options Daily Travel Program for (8AM-6PM) Teens Ages 11-13

Athletics, Visual/Performing Busing Available Arts, Horseback Riding, Enrichment, Coding and 5 FreeBroadcasting T-shirts and a Radio Backpack Included

Air Conditioned Indoor and New Green/Division Playground for 1Our Lush Campers Athletic Outdoor Facilities

Flexible Enrollment From Flexible Enrollment 2-8 2-8 Weeks Weeks

Specialized Programs That Lots of Open Field Space, Are Age Appropriate Including Soccer and(Ages 3-15) Baseball Fields

Hot Free Lunch Optionand Available Five T-shirts A Backpack Included Large Indoor Space

Discover The Difference at Oasis�

Oasis Bayside @ Fort Totten, Queens LIU Post Campus - 720 Northern Blvd, Greenvale, NY 11548

Scan to view our website

516.415.1269 646.519.5066

bayside@oasischildren.com liupost@oasischildren.com

oasischildren.com

REGISTER REGISTER

TODAY! TODAY!


shop dine play dream Celebrate Summer with the whole family at American Dream. Enjoy larger-than-life attractions, elevated dining and the only Saks Fifth Avenue in New Jersey! Experience it all!

@americandream • americandream.com 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073

June 2022 | Queens Family

3


contents

June 2022

NewYorkFamily.com

pg. 30

pg. 24

pg. 44

FEATURES 22 | Health Hepatitis in children and what parents need to know 24 | Birthdays Celebrate your child’s big day at these fun spots 44 | Cover – José Rolón of @nycgaydad On being a single parent, letting people see you in all your crazy glory and looking for love

Stories & columns 6 | Editor’s Letter 8 | Camp Summer camp and your child’s mental health 12 | Neighborhood Guide: Explore Tribeca Have a family staycation in this bustling nook of NYC

46 | Calendar All the fun events and activities for June

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

pg. 12

Summer GUide 30 | Travel Family Road Trips 40 | To Do Summer Bucket List

Directories 20 | Preschools Guide

16 | Education The benefits of preschool

Family fun

4

pg. 40

on the Cover Photo: Ana Gambuto | anagambuto.com Cover Illustration: Béatrice Hug Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | buffysaintmarie.com Produced by: Donna Duarte Ladd


CITY CAMPS FOR CITY KIDS! ADVANTAGE CAMPS ON NEARBY ROOSEVELT ISLAND

DAY CAMPS

Advantage Day Camp—best day camp in NYC! • Every kind of fun imaginable, for campers 4 to 14 • Art, gym & field sports, enrichment, STEAM programs, chess & tennis • Starting 6/20, East Side only

Advantage Junior Tennis Camp— best tennis camp in NYC!

• Players 7 to 17 focus on tennis, up close & all summer long! • Drills, games & match play • Starting 6/13 – East Side & West Side

Advantage QuickStart Tennis Camp— best introduction to tennis ever!

• Customized by age & ability, for campers 4 to 8 • Friendly atmosphere, specialized instruction • Half days, starting 6/13 West Side, Half days or full days 6/13 on the East Side • Rigorous safety measures at all locations • Flexibility – chose your week or individual days with a 10, 20 or 30-pack (East Side only) • Convenience – early drop off & late pickup at no extra charge!

Earn unlimited $50 referral credits*! Refer friends & siblings when you enroll. No limit on how many credits you can earn! Choose East Side/Roosevelt Island or West Side/midtown Manhattan Quick & easy to reach NYC locations! Contact Bob Ingersole at bingersole@advantagecamps.net or 212.935.0250

Sign up today at advantagecamps.net * Must be new to Advantage Camps

June 2022 | Queens Family

5


Editor’s Note

NewYorkFamily.com

Nina Gallo Photography

The Ultimate Summer Family Fun Guide It’s been a year, well, a school year, where there have been many tests—the pop quiz kind and then the COVID sort. But we got through it. Kids are champions, especially on how they have preserved with all that has come their way since this pandemic began— yay for the kids. If you are still searching for a summer camp, we have a helpful piece on The Advantages of Sending your Kids to Camp (page 8). If you didn’t notice by our fun cover, we’ve got you covered with summer fun with memorable Family Road Trips (page

30) and because we like odd numbers — 57 Things To Do This Summer (page 40). Of course, Team NYF will be around all summer, so visit us online (newyorkfamily. com & nymetroparents.com) for all summer activities and events. Lastly, fathers are the best, and we have one fantastic dad on the cover. José Rolón (page 44) of @nycgaydad shares on being a single parent, letting people see you in all your crazy glory, and shares that he is ready for love! Donna and New York Family

Publisher: Clifford Luster Executive Director: Donna Duarte-Ladd Associate Publisher: Erin Brof Advertising Director: Stacie Goldberg Deputy Editor: Jeannine Cintron Digital Editor: Courtney Ingalls Events Manager: Shara Levine Reporter: Barbara Russo Senior Adviser: Susan Weiss Partnership Managers: Lauren Alperin, Lauren Anchin, Joan Bergman, Mary Cassidy, Lori Falco Shelli Goldberg-Peck, Annene Guertin, LynnMarie Hanley, Lisa Herlihy, Janine Mulé, Cara Roteman, Nina Spiegelman, Gwen Tomaselli Marketing & Strategy Director: Rosalia Bobé Sales & Marketing Coordinator: Mykael Fields Marketing Assistant: Tilejah Gilead Art Director: Leah Mitch Web Developer: Sylvan Migdal Graphic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti Editor at large: Cris Pearlstein Editorial Contributors: Jana Beauchamp, Mia Salas Editorial Interns: Océane Goriou, Kilani Sierra, Liana Vazquez

Contact Information

ADVERTISING: (718) 260-4554 Advertising@NewYorkFamily.com Circulation: (718) 260-8336 Tina@NewYorkFamily.com Address: New York Family Media/Schneps Media 1 MetroTech Center North, Third Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201

President: Victoria Schneps-Yunis CEO: Joshua Schneps COO: Clifford Luster

2021

New York Family has been awarded the PMA Gold Award for Excellence in Website Design and the Silver Award for Excellence overall.

get in touch Share your feedback and ideas about family life in New York! Email us at editorial@newyorkfamily.com and tag us at #newyorkfamily

6

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

New York Family is published monthly by Queens Family Media, LLC. Reproduction of New York Family Media in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. ©2022 Queens Family Media, LLC


A Reggio Inspired & Mandarin Immersion Preschool

Brand New Location Now Open in Long Island City! 99-39 66th Avenue, Rego Park, NY 11374 NEW LOCATION: 2-03 Borden Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101 www.klpreschool.com | info@klpreschool.com | (718) 679-9909 Full & Half Day Programs 8 am - 6 pm | Extended Hours: 7:30 am - 6:30 pm

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2022-23 SCHOOL YEAR

September 6, 2022 to June 23, 2023 For children ages 1 – 5

June 2022 | Queens Family

7


Camp

Summer Camp & Your Child’s Mental Health The many cognitive advantages of sending your kids to camp By Jeannine Cintron

W

hen you think of summer camp, images of children playing sports, completing arts and crafts projects and splashing in pools come to mind. Those activities make for a very exciting summer, but camp is also a place where lifelong friendships are made and where a child can truly grow as a person during a crucial point in their young lives. Summer camp offers children the opportunity to focus instead of on their academic success but on their own personal identity and independence. With the school books put away, camp gives kids the freedom to work on themselves. We spoke with Alicia Skovera, Executive Director of the American Camp Association of New York and New Jersey to learn how and why summer camp is

8

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

so important to a child’s mental health and internal development. Does camp help kids who have trouble making friends or experience social anxiety? Many children struggle with anxiety about going to camp, especially if it’s their first time. Children often feel more at ease when their feelings are normalized. Parents should explain to children that some of their peers may be feeling the same way but express it differently. I encourage parents to allow their children to be separated from their friends when attending camp. Camp tends to be a place where children get to be themselves and try on different parts of their personality, which can be easier when they do not know anyone to start. There’s an old adage at camps

that your camp friends become your best friends and your lifelong friends! What advice would you give to kids who are nervous or hesitant to start camp? Choosing the right camp for you is a crucial place to start. There are camps for everyone and it’s important to choose one that you are excited about and has the activities you are looking for. Set up a meeting to talk with the director before camp starts and take a tour of the property. Take the time to ask all of your questions before attending, especially about anything that worries you. See if the camp can introduce you to who your counselor is going to be ahead of the summer so you already know them on your first day. How do you think attending camp affects a child’s mental health in the short term and in the long term? Camp allows children to discover who they are and find out what they are good at. They get to try new things, meet new people, and overcome everyday challenges that help build self esteem and self-efficacy. This skill building helps to build confidence to try new things, which has a positive impact over a child’s mental health both in the short and long term. Research has shown there is a direct correla-


THE HOTTEST NEW ADVENTURE ON LONG ISLAND!

[3 ZIPLINES AND HIGH ROPES ON P`[3r )3 *C

ěű Ƃ Ages 5+ ĝ 3 r FxC *`03 ě [ = Z

FTF3rĝ

T`* x30 )3x 33[ FIELDS 4 & 5

BOOK NOW! ȻĜ ȼ ģěě ȼ ġġģ ȼ ĢĢĢĜ June 2022 | Queens Family

9


camp

tion between the time one spends in nature and the release of the stress hormone cortisol. The more time children spend outdoors and in the natural world, the less stress they tend to feel. We also know that children who play outdoors are more likely to help protect nature as an adult. Which camp activities have the best effects on a child’s mental and emotional health? There is no one activity that gives the best effect for a child’s mental and emotional health. Incorporating choice in activities allows children to follow their own interests and to have ownership in the activity. Some activities have inherently more challenges than others, like the ropes course or swimming, but it is important to positively encourage a child to try something new and not to force them to try it. Again, we know that spending time and/ or learning outdoors has a huge impact on a child’s stress levels and how they feel about the natural world when they become adults. How can parents ensure they are choosing a camp that will benefit their child’s mental health?

“Camp allows children to discover who they are and find out what they are good at. They get to try new things, meet new people, and overcome everyday challenges that help build self esteem and self-efficacy.” The AmericanCamp Academy encourages all parents to choose regulated camps that are ACA accredited. Accreditation and oversight from a regulatory body, like the Department of Health, are the best indicators that a camp will be physically and emotionally safe for every child. In addition, talk to your child about what they are feeling and what is most important to them. Get to know the camp nurse as well. Find out what the camp’s plan is for when a child needs help. What can parents do to encourage the mental and emotional growth of their child at summer camp? This may sound counterintuitive, but leave your children alone! Allow them to gain their independence without you. Write encouraging

letters to your child and let them know that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you believe in them. Do not include any information about home that would be perceived as stressful or that would have the child feel like they were “missing out” on something going on at home. When your child is talking to you about what happened at camp, ask questions about their day and when there is something they feel like they could have done better. Ask them what they could have done differently instead of telling them (this especially works for older children). Lastly, call the camp to check in about how your child is doing. Try not to demand to speak to the child on your terms or according to your schedule since often they will be pulled from an activity they enjoy and they rarely want to stop what they are doing.

Indoor Beach Volleyball Summer Camp Wondering how to engage children and teens at home for the summer?

Ages 9 - 16

Send them to the beach without leaving the city! At QBK Sports Beach Volleyball Camp your child will enjoy our indoor beach-like and fun environment, learn teamwork, improve hand-eye coordination, r���xes and balance while playing one of the fastest growing college sports in the country! Offering an optional Beach Luau OVERNIGHT on the sand!

41-20 39th Street, LIC 718-475-9694 QBKsports.com info@QBKsports.com 10

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022


CONGRATULATIONS

CLASS OF 2022! We are The Kew-Forest School. Our community

nurtures lifelong learners from around the world.

Our educators

inspire young people to think boldly and find their voices.

Our students

support each other and explore thoughtfully as they shape the future.

Our graduates have been accepted to many top colleges and universities over the last three years, including: Barnard College Binghamton University (SUNY) Boston University Cornell University Davidson College Fordham University Hobart and William Smith Colleges Howard University Indiana University Johns Hopkins University Loyola University Chicago Massachusetts Institute of Technology Miami University (Ohio) New York City College of Technology New York University Northeastern University The Pennsylvania State University

Rutgers University Sarah Lawrence College Smith College Stony Brook University (SUNY) Swarthmore College Temple University Tulane University University at Albany (SUNY) University of Connecticut University of Delaware University of Miami University of Michigan University of Pennsylvania University of Rochester University of Southern California Wesleyan University Williams College

PRESCHOOL – GRADE 12 119-17 UNION TURNPIKE • FOREST HILLS, NY 11375 • 718.268.4667

WWW.KEWFOREST.ORG June 2022 | Queens Family

11


neighborhood guide

Explore TRibeCa Have a family staycation in this bustling nook of NYC By Shara Levine

O

ne thing many of us parents learned with the pandemic or were reminded is that there is so many opportunities for fun and adventure in our own backyard. Tribeca, which is an abbreviation for Triangle Below Canal Street, is located in Lower Manhattan and offers the ideal escape for families with its parks, shopping, restaurants, art galleries and more. Where to Stay

Smyth Tribeca Hotel 85 West Broadway

The newly opened Smyth Tribeca Hotel is chic, modern, and ready to welcome your family with their “The Kids Camp at Smyth” and “Keys to the Galleries” packages. The Camp package includes a complimentary gift and craft set from CAMP, a “Family Experience Company,” as well as an in-room fondue set for homemade s’mores, including chocolates, marshmallows and graham crackers. My son’s eyes lit up when he saw two bright colored boxes on the bed as soon as we walked through our hotel room door. Right away he started unpacking them and discovered crafts and activities that would keep him busy for hours! FYI- if you’re in his class, expect an original handcrafted beaded bracelet. At the end of a long day, these gifts from CAMP really helped my little guy unwind and kept him busy and entertained in his new home away from home. If you’re looking to infuse a little culture into your stay, then the “Keys to the Galleries” package is for you! Smyth Tribeca has partnered with ART SMART to offer families personalized art gallery tours and art experience that will be tailored to your budding art enthusiasts. What to do in Trbeca Pier 25 at Hudson River Park

Slather on the sunscreen and head on over to Hudson River Park along the West Side Highway for outdoor fun and activities that

12

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

Smyth Tribeca Hotel

will satisfy everyone in the family. Kids can swing, climb, and spin to their heart’s content at the playground, show off their tricks at the skatepark, play a round of mini-golf, and enjoy a treat from Sweet Love Snack Bar, while taking in stunning views of sailboats, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Color Me Mine Tribeca 123 Baxter St.

Let your family unleash their inner artists! First painters will pick from a variety of ceramic pieces including dinnerware, children items, and seasonal pieces. Then they’ll get to work on what will surely become a masterpiece.


June 2022 | Queens Family

13


neighborhood guide

9/11 Memorial 180 Greenwich St.

It’s been 20 years since the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001, and although our children are too young to remember the Twin Towers as they stood, this memorial will ensure that the towers and the victims will never be forgotten. The 9/11 Memorial consists of two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers with the names of the almost 3,000 victimes etched in bronze around them. The Oculus 50 Church St.

The Oculus is a magnificent structure both inside and out. Designed as part of the rebuilt World Trade Center master plan, “the structure’s white metal-clad steel ribs reach up and out in a monumental move symbolic of a hand releasing a dove.” When you step inside The Oculus, the sun filled building gives you access to 12 subway lines, the World Trade Center PATH station, shopping, dinning, special events, and more. If you visit on a Friday between 11am and 7pm make

14

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

sure to check out eats from over 20 local vendors taking part in Smorgasburg now through October 28.

unforgettable photos.

Two World Trade Center Murals Project From Church to Greenwich streets, between Vesey Street and the Oculus

You’ll recognize this iconic building from the original three Ghostbusters films and the 2016 reboot, but don’t worry- there’s no Stay Puft Marshmallow Man here. Instead, this still active firehouse is home to members of New York’s Bravest. So feel free to take selfies, but be ready to make way in the event of a real life emergency.

An international roster of artists contributed to this project using corrugated metal as their canvas. The results are exciting, bright, cutting edge designs that welcome visitors to admire and make the perfect backdrop for

Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company 8 14 North Moore St.


MS 358

Congratulations to MS358 for becoming the FIRST Magnet Schools of America certified demonstration school in New York City and New York State, as well as, to Principal Mims for being recognized as National Principal of the Year!

The Magnet School for STEAM Exploration and Experiential Learning Diversity • Achievement • Equity

COME BE PART OF THE FIRST AND ONLY NYC CERTIFIED MAGNET SCHOOL At The Magnet School of STEAM Exploration and Experiential Learning, everyone learns with purpose, classroom instruction incorporates passionate speaking, purposeful writing, powerful presentations, and digital literacy. Through project based and experiential learning students take intellectual risks, make real world connections, and explore authentic problems in their community and society.

Please contact parentcoordinator@ms358q.org to get information about our Open Houses and One-to-One info sessions. For Magnet Application Survey go to www.ms358q.org or Call Us at 718-558-6240 ext 4163/4160

“Sky Above Me, Earth Below Me, Fire Within Me”

LEARN MORE at www.ms358q.org

June 2022 | Queens Family

15


EDUCATION

The Benefits of PRESCHOOL BY BARBARA RUSSO

E

very parent wants their child to have a great education. Elementary, high-school and college learning are all undoubtedly important, but the path to a successful education can start as early as the toddler years—long before a child steps into a kindergarten classroom. Preschool learning—also known as early childhood education—is a great option for many families, and can offer a strong foundation for a successful academic career. What is Preschool? It seems like a silly question, but it’s important to define what preschool actually means these days. In the past, preschool was considered by many to be just a time for children to play. Some critics have even referred to it as a form of “babysitting service.” While preschool can provide an excellent and enriching child-care opportunity for working parents, the belief

16

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

that preschool is just a time for free play has changed. Nonetheless, play is extremely important for healthy child development. “Preschool should be a place for focusing on all the areas of development. Play is how children learn, interact with their environment and acquire new concepts and skills,” Jeannine DiBart, co-owner and co-director of Katonah Playcare Early Learning Center in Katonah, NY, said. “Play is essential in development, but only works this way if the preschool is planning, evaluating, and utilizing play with an educator’s eye. Play must give the children hands-on opportunities to learn and develop and the educators must set up purposeful experiences.” Benefits of Preschool Learning Some parents grapple over whether to send their child to preschool or keep them home in their toddler years. Of course, every family has its unique circumstances and their own factors to consider when making this

important decision. While there are definitely pluses to keeping your child at home, many social workers and education experts agree that preschool offers children many lasting benefits. In fact, children who attend highquality preschool programs reap benefits that can last through school and their lives, according to a review of research by the Learning Policy Institute, a Palo Alto, CA, nonprofit that conducts research in the field of education policy and practice. An overarching benefit of preschool is the vital role it plays in the development of the whole child. The pre-kindergarten years provide a time in a child’s life where social, emotional and cognitive development need to be nourished and developed equally, many educators say. It’s important to note that preschool is often the very first time a child is apart from his or her parents and in a group of peers, which as many parents know can be stressful for a child, but an experience that will pay off in the long run. “All preschools should have as much


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

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

www.ComprehendTheMind.com 718-441-0166 Committed to providing psycho-educational and neuro-developmental evaluations for over 15 years �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ �������������������������������

For a short time, we are offering a 28-day neuropsychological assessment process for $3500* Please inquire with the center for details and mention NYMetroParents for discounted rate.

Who We Help: ����������� ����������������������� ������ �������� ���������������������� ���������������������������������������� ���������������������������������� ��������������������������

Who We Help: • Extra time on tests, both in classrooms, SATs, ACTs, SHSATs • IEPs, 504 plans, private school placement • Forensic (injury, special education, child custody, immigration) cases • Medication management

We accept all major insurances GHI, UnitedHealthCare, Oxford, Cigna, MagnaCare, BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) All major credit cards, Cash, and PayPal accepted �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������

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

www.ComprehendTheMind.com | 718-441-0166 June 2022 | Queens Family

17


Education

of a focus on this social and emotional component as cognitive development. Preschool gives the child a chance to acquire interpersonal and language skills needed in order to function outside the family unit,” DiBart said. Another similar benefit preschool provides is an opportunity to socialize in a group setting, which is something that most likely can’t be achieved at home. “Preschool gives children an opportunity to practice social skills and develop those social skills in a real-world kind of way that also reflects what it’s going to be like once they enter into school,” Michelle Felder, LCSW, a parenting therapist and founder and CEO of Parenting Pathfinders, said. Problem-solving and negotiating are two important skills children start to acquire in preschool, Felder explained. Learning these two critically important skills at a young age will help provide a strong base for healthy and successful interpersonal, academic and professional relationships well into adolescence and adulthood. “Kids have the opportunity in preschool to practice negotiating time and space with other kids, which really helps them become more prepared when they enter kindergarten,” Felder said. “This sets a really wonderful foundation for learning how to interact with other people, how to negotiate, problem solve, cooperate and listen. Preschool also builds those foundational conversation skills for kids as they’re talking to peers and grown-ups. They get so much practice in preschool.” Another benefit of preschool learning is that professional teachers on staff are trained to identify problems a child may have— problems that might go unnoticed by parents. “There’s a difference when it’s your own child versus a teacher who is trained to spot areas of growth, things that your child might need support in and ways that they can be prepared for kindergarten in a way that a nanny or parent can’t do at home,” Lisa Samick, director of the Early Childhood Learning Center at Temple Israel of the City of New York, said. Preschool Learning: It’s Not Necessarily About Academics Parents shouldn’t expect their child to become a whiz at reading, writing and counting in preschool. Early childhood education is much more about socialization, cognitive and emotional development, curiosity and learning through play.

18

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

“Kids have the opportunity in preschool to practice negotiating time and space with other kids, which really helps them become more prepared when they enter kindergarten.” Preschool also helps foster a child’s creativity, which is a big part of early childhood development. Teaching art to preschoolers nurtures an array of important skills. “Children feel a sense of emotional satisfaction when they are involved in making their own art and their self-esteem is boosted by giving them opportunities to express what they are thinking and feeling,” Gail Porter, who co-owns and directs alongside DiBart at Katonah Playcare Early Learning Center. “As well, art requires decision-making and self-evaluation when the children decide what to portray, the media to use, when they are finished, and how to evaluate their art.” While reading isn’t usually in a preschool curriculum, literacy skills are often taught through art. Since art is symbolic, children use art to represent real objects, events and feelings. “This use of symbols provides a foundation for children’s later use of letters and words to symbolize sounds, and words and sentences to symbolize objects and actions,” Porter explained. Tips for Choosing a Preschool Now that you have an overview of what preschool can offer, it’s time to choose a school. The search for the perfect preschool can be quite overwhelming, but our experts shared some tips to help make the process a little less daunting. To start, make sure the school aligns with what’s important to you as a parent, whether it offers indoor programming, opportunities for outside play, arts-and-crafts, among other activities. Many parents might also want to consider cost, location and teacher credentials. Other tips for choosing a preschool include: Visit the school in person. Parents should have a warm and welcoming feeling when visiting a school and should feel free to ask questions. Look at the student-teacher ratio. Consider how important class size is to you. Consider toys and materials. Ask the staff if there are toys available that encourage children to be creative. These can include

dolls and plush animals to foster imaginative play, LEGOs of preschool complexity levels, puppets for storytelling, easy-to-use drum sets, among many other options. Changing a Preschool Mid-Year Sometimes, despite your best efforts to find a school that suits your family’s needs, the one you chose just isn’t the right fit. 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 midyear jump to a new school. The first step to switching schools is to figure out what isn’t working. Reach out to your child’s teacher or school principal. Be honest that you’re considering a change of environment and bring up your concerns about the school. Keep in mind that you only see one side of the story as a parent and that they might have valuable insights to share about your child’s life at school. Once you’ve laid out your concerns, listen carefully to their response and ask them whether they have any suggestions for improving the situation. If you aren’t convinced that change will be possible and still have the same desire to make a move, ask what the process for leaving mid-year might be. If you’re at a private school, understand your billing notice period and how you will retrieve school records. Once a new school has been chosen, mentally prepare your child for the move. Alicia Sharpe, a New York City-based Education Consultant, says, “Mental 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.”


Your Next Family-Fun Getaway... is just 30 minutes away!

You don’t have to travel far to enjoy the beauty of the Hudson Valley. Rockland County offers a wealth of attractions and activities easily reached by car, train, or boat. With a mix of bustling towns, great outdoor adventure, creative culture and more, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy.

explorerocklandny.com

®NYSDED

June 2022 | Queens Family

19


Preschools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Countryside Montessori School 354 Lakeville Road, lower level, Great Neck 516-466-8422 Email info@cmsgn.com Countryside Montessori School offers children, 18 months to 6 years, a wellbalanced and enriched curriculum which includes traditional subjects, art, and music. They are located on an estate-like setting with an outdoor playground and nature walks. Classrooms are fully equipped and spacious. Countryside Montessori is offering in-person camp for children ages 18 months to 6 years old. There are morning academics for the older children and playtime for all children.

Ivy Day School 65-01 Kissena Blvd. Flushing 718-460-6366 70-44 Kissena Blvd. Flushing 718-880-1888 104-70 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills 718-997-1997 dinam@ivydayschool.com Books and blocks, music and dance, art and creativity! At Ivy Day School (three locations)-the school provides a decade-long standard of academic excellence to children ages 2-5. Ivy Day School envisions students will develop essential skills for a lifetime of achievements via fun, stimulating activities.

Kuei Luck Early Childhood Centers NEW LIC: 2-03 Borden Ave, Long Island City, NY

Don’t Let Your Child Fall Behind

You Have A Pal To Give Your Child A Headstart

718-670-9919 Rego Park/Forest Hills: 99-39 66th Ave, Rego Park, NY 718-679-9909 klpreschool.com A new location in Long Island City is now open 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 student-led 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

PAL A&M Schwartz

PAL La Puerta Albierta

PAL Carey Gardens

452 Pennsylvania Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11207

2864 W. 21st Street Brooklyn, NY 11224

2964 W. 23rd Street Brooklyn, NY 11224

718-342-4141 718-373-1100 718-372-4044 PAL World Of Creative PAL Western Queens PAL Woodside Nursery Experience Early Learning Center 50-37 Broadway Woodside, NY 11377

280 Livonia Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11212

718-278-3616

718-345-5219 PAL Rockaway

10-26 41st Avenue L.I.C., NY 11101

718-784-2092

216 Beach 87, Far Rockaway, NY 11693

www.palnyc.org

20

We’re so Social NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

Palnyc.org These programs provide a safe, secure, developmentally appropriate environment and emphasize active family engagement and strong collaboration with the local community. Staff is composed of certified teachers and social service staff. Providing Early Childhood education for more than 50 years with multiple locations. There are 7 programs throughout Brooklyn & Queens.

Guidance of Great Teachers in an Environment that Stimulates Creativity and Individual Potential!

Our fully eqipped spacious classrooms offer the most enriched curriculum available for 18 mos–6 yrs

Ages 2-5

• Educational Trips • Social Service Staff • Safe Indoor/ Outdoor Facilities • Parent Committees/ Workshops

PAL Head Start Programs

TER REGIS R FO NOW ER SUMM P An Education Where Children Thrive Under the CAM

Preschool Program & Universal Pre-K • Full Day 8am-6pm • Certified Teachers • Healthy Meals & Snacks • Services For Special Needs

learners to deepen their knowledge of subjects they are most curious about. Now enrolling for 2022-2023. Contact the school for more information.

Fully affiliated with the American Montessori Society since 1988

• Spacious playground • large classrooms • low teacher -student ratio •Early drop-off and extended day available

To ensure a save environment, we are taking all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID

354 Lakeville Road, Great Neck, NY 516-466-8422 | www.CMSGN.com

Follow us @newyorkfamily on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and tag us #newyorkfamily in your NYC adventures!


Register NOW for Spring & Summer!

Register NOW for Summer & Fall!!!

Offering classes classes for for ages ages 3+ 3+ in: in: Offering Jazz Jazz

Jumps Jumps & Turns & Turns

Tap Tap Ballet Ballet

Stretch Stretch & Strength & Strength

Hip Hop Hop Hip Lyrical Lyrical

allstarstudiosnyc.com

Acrobatics Acrobatics

allstarstudiosnyc.com 108-21 72nd Ave (4th floor) •Forest Hills, NY 11375 nd th 108-21 72 Ave floor) •Forest Hills, NY 11375 718-268-2280(4 • allstarstudiosnyc@gmail.com 718-268-2280 • allstarstudiosnyc@gmail.com

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

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

June 2022 | Queens Family

21


ask the expert

Hepatitis in Children What parents needs to know By Donna Duarte LaDD

I

f you are a parent, you may be freaking out about the latest health scare involving kids, Hepatitis. And while we read and listen to the daily news reports on cases, many of us may be wondering what do we need to know about Hepatitis — especially Hepatitis in children. We chatted with Dr. Karen Acker, pediatric infectious diseases specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine. What is Hepatitis? Hepatitis is a general term that refers to inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis has multiple potential causes including infection, medications (most commonly Tylenol), alcohol, and autoimmune conditions. Hepatitis is most commonly caused by viruses, and the particular viruses that we associate with hepatitis most often are Hepatitis A, B, and C (hence their names). Other viruses we also associate with hepatitis, albeit typically much milder than the Hepatitis viruses, are Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus which cause infectious mononucleosis (“mono”). The liver inflammation in children with mono is usually mild and resolves on its own. Previously, adenoviruses were not typically associated with hepatitis in previously healthy children. What does the medical profession know so far about the current outbreak? The common link in many of these cases of hepatitis was the detection of adenovirus 41. Adenovirus 41 is a strain of adenovirus that causes vomiting and diarrhea, most commonly in young children. Adenovirus infections are not typically associated with hepatitis which is a reason why these cases have prompted further investigation. Yet, we still do not know conclusively if all of these cases are linked or caused by adenovirus. The World Health Organization (WHO)

22

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

first reported cases of acute hepatitis without a known cause on April 15, 2022. As of April 21, the WHO reported 169 cases in children age 1 month to 16 years. Many had abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea prior to presenting with hepatitis, as manifested by an increase level in liver enzymes or jaundice (yellowing of the skin). The CDC posted a health advisory on April 21 notifying the public that nine patients had been identified in a large hospital in Alabama between October 2021 to February 2022 who were treated for hepatitis and found to have evidence of adenovirus infection. They advised physicians to consider adenovirus testing in patients presenting with hepatitis and unclear cause, and recommended that local departments of health report cases of hepatitis without a clear etiology.

an unknown cause, further investigation is needed. These alerts and warnings are meant to ensure that we keep a close eye on new potential cases. Parents should reach out to their pediatricians if they think their child may have symptoms consistent with hepatitis, such as severe abdominal pain with vomiting and diarrhea, or yellow eyes or skin.

What do parents need to know about the increase in unexplained Hepatitis cases that seem to be affecting young children? These reports should not create increased alarm in parents as these cases are very rare and still require further investigation. These reports do not necessarily indicate that we are seeing more hepatitis than before or that there is necessarily an outbreak of adenovirus. Whenever a cluster of cases that appear to have a common link or have

What are the signs or symptoms that parents should look out for? Symptoms of hepatitis can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, yellow skin (jaundice), yellow eyes. If a child has worsening increasingly worsening abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, or if they have jaundice, they should see their child’s pediatrician for evaluation. In these cases, their pediatrician may test their child’s liver enzymes to see if they are elevated.

What are the children’s ages that seem to be affected by Hepatitis? Most of the children affected are less than 10 years old, although cases range from children age 1-16. Is this COVID-19 related? We do not know if these cases are COVID-19 related but this is also being looked into.


Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Acro, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Modern, & Competitive Dance Teams

Summer Dance Camp

(ages 4-10) Camp in session from July 11th - August 18th

Summer Semester: June 14th - August 21st

Dance Intensives (for ages 10+) June 28th- July 1st

718-520-0207

70-11 Austin Street, 2nd Fl, Forest Hills, NY

www.roseacademyofballet.com racademyofballet@gmail.com

DIVERSITY • ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT • EXCELLENCE • Magnet schools engage, inspire, and empower students

• Magnet schools are nationally recognized for innovative learning

• Magnet school themes include Architecture, Engineering, Design, Global Studies, Leadership, STEAM, Multimedia, Communications, Arts, and Experiential Learning

• Magnet schools have specialized classrooms for hands on learning, such as: makerspaces, hydroponics labs, media rooms, and more

For more information

www.magnetschools.nyc info@magnetschools.nyc

Transformative Education June 2022 | Queens Family

23


Birthday Parties Celebrate your child’s big day in NYC with these venues, themes and more

By Jana Beauchamp

B

irthdays are back and better than ever! NYC has an endless list of unique birthday venues, creative themes, and parties to suit all families and whatever your birthday child can imagine. We found amazing options for fun at home; openair, outdoor celebrations; special in-person parties; and all birthday bashes in between so no matter how you celebrate your little loved one’s birthday, it will be the best. Bring on the birthday magic with these party options. Here are our picks for Kids’ Birthdays Parties , venues, themes and more in NYC. The Great Outdoors of Birthdays Create grand birthday moments at The Greens at The Rooftop at Pier 17 (The Rooftop at Pier 17, 89 South Street, NY). Each mini lawn offers unmatched views of the city skyline while providing a chic and intimate vibe. Guests can enjoy a thoughtfully curated food and beverage menu or enjoy a rooftop movie while taking in

24

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

the breathtaking views. Individual lawn reservation fees are available for lunch and dinner and lawns fit up to 8 people with options to rent several lawns, depending on party size. The LeFrak Center at Lakeside (171 East Dr, Brooklyn, NY) provides families with several festive ways to celebrate their next birthday bash. Centrally located in the heart of Brooklyn in Prospect Park, Lakeside offers kids summer roller-skating birthday party options al fresco. Birthday party packages include admission and rentals to the skating rink, exclusive use of a private party room for your guests, skating instruction, delicious catered food selections and a dedicated event party planner to help ensure all have a memorable experience. The Skyline Drive-In (1 Oak St, Brooklyn, NY) is a drive-in (or walk-in) movie theater located right on the water in Brooklyn with an unbeatable view of the Manhattan skyline. You can climb out of your car and create your own perfect movie-watching set up. There’s also the option to bring in your own food – or load up on concessions. Watch the sunset at this

instagrammable spot, relax, watch a weekend blockbuster or cult classic, and celebrate! NYC Parks for Birthday Parties New York has many excellent parks to host a birthday party. Yes, there are some parks where you have to get there a bit early to claim your picnic table, but it is worth it once you are settled. They are also one of the ways to have a party in free space or keep costs down. A few of our favorite parks for parties are Brooklyn Bride Park (334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY), where you have plenty of room to sit on the grass, snag a table and have the kids hop on Jane’s Carousel. A fun thing to do is buy tickets in advance and have them to your party-goers when they arrive; not too far from the park, you’ll find Roller Skating at Pier 2. Skating at this park and skate rentals are reasonable, and the Roller Rink offers free admission skate time slots; check out the website for these designated times. Of course, Central Park is where you can plan treasure hunts or take the kids on a hike, go to the zoo, and then enjoy a picnic or play at


THE LITTLE MERMEN ARE COMING TO BAYSIDE VILLAGE!

Enjoy a fun FREE family show and singalong of all your Disney favorites! 41st Ave at Bell Blvd on June 26th 11am. Sponsored by Queensborough Performing Arts Center ONE SHOW ONLY! Rain date: August 14th 11am

Educating our students to be independent thinkers and lifelong learners.

ly Appw! no

Our World Neighborhood Charter Schools Free Public Charter School in SD 27, SD 30, SD 24 • Rigorous academic curriculum • Spanish beginning in Kindergarten • Study of world cultures • Pillars of a Positive Community • Arts & Music integrated into curriculum • Individualized learning • Free breakfast & lunch • 1:1 Computer Program • All students will use either an iPad or Laptop while in school For more information about our great schools call us at 347-205-4585 or 646-415-2775, email us at admissions@owncs.org or visit www.owncs.org

OWN 1 (K-8th) Astoria 36-12 35th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106 Facebook: facebook.com/OWNCS Instagram: Twitter: twitter.com/OWNCS

Scan Me

https://www.owncs.org/admissions/how-apply

OWN 2 (K-5th) Howard Beach 135-25 79th Street, Howard Beach, NY 11414 OWN 3 (K-1st) Corona 108-68 Roosevelt Avenue, Corona, NY 11368 June 2022 | Queens Family

25


birthday parties

one of the many playgrounds. Hint, Heckscher Playground is our favorite for little and big kids. Keep in mind, especially for the popular parks; it is good to obtain a permit via NYC Parks ($20) if you plan on having twenty or more people. Indoor/Outdoor Hybrid Birthday Bonanzas Graff Tours (282 Meserole St. Bushwick/ Brooklyn,NY) offers the coolest, most creative graffiti art birthday party. A birthday party includes a short street art tour of the Bushwick murals and is followed by a 1.5 hour unique hands-on graffiti workshop outside in their yard or inside the studio where kids learn the technique of aerosol art. Kids create their own graffiti projects to take home with the help of an authentic NYC graffiti artist. Learn the tips and techniques of aerosol art, from fill-ins to masterpieces, as birthday kids immerse themselves in graffiti art culture. Sweet and Special Celebrations American Girl (americangirl.com) is the destination for an unforgettable birthday with your birthday child (and their dolls). Celebrate with all-inclusive party packages designed to minimize stress and maximize fun/ Little ones will love these sweet parties and the themed packages like Deluxe Rainbow and Deluxe Sweet Sprinkles Birthday celebrations provide everything you need to make memories that will last a lifetime, including a delicious meal; signature cake and ice cream; digital invitations; special themed crafts and/or goody bags ad doll tiaras; and a special gift for the birthday girl. Private party rooms are available and take home celebrations are offered as well. There is nothing sweeter than enjoying a

The Greens at The Rooftop at Pier 17

Skyline Drive-In

birthday at the Museum Of Ice Cream (558 Broadway, New York, NY)! MOIC guides help create a fun and interactive way to explore 13 installations full of games and engaging activations in a completely immersive experience like enjoying a Sprinkle Pool sundae before diving into a pool full of sprinkles! They can accommodate an array of celebrations and events. “Ice cream for breakfast” morning/ daytime celebrations afford a group the entire

Make a day trip to a fun party destination! Palisades Climb Adventure 4590 Palisades Center Drive, W. Nyack, NY 10994 845-727-3500 palisadesclimb.com

Palisades Climb Adventure is the world’s tallest indoor ropes course, standing 85 feet tall, and featuring over 75 unique challenge elements designed for climbers of all ages and skill levels. A great venue for private events, such as birthday parties, team building challenges, school and youth field trips, and scouting events.

space privately one hour before Museum of Ice Cream opens to the public and evening celebrations allow a group to come in after the last public time slot and enjoy Museum of Ice Cream at their own pace. Guided tours and full buy-outs are also available with pricing based on the needs of the group. Adventurous Birthday Fun Area 53 NYC (616 Scholes Street, Williamsburg, NY) has tons of party booking options with two different locations – Laser Tag, Paintball, and their Adventure Park! The laser tag birthday parties include a sprawling arena in the style of an old factory basement with all sorts of dystopian-esque abandoned remains acting like obstacles. CAMP (110 5th Ave, New York, NY), the family experience store, is a magical space for a super fun birthday celebration. Their celebration packages include private access to Campitheater, which will act as the home-base for the duration of your party. Every celebration has a dedicated Party Captain to facilitate a fun and safe time. The captain will lead the CAMPers through crafting, games, a dance party, and of course, singing Happy Birthday! Additional Reporting: Donna Duarte-Ladd

26

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022


MORE UNBUBBLIEVABLE

T H A N EV E R !

“ ENCHANTING!” -THE NEW YORK TIMES

Pappas Pediatric Dentistry

Warm child friendly environment TV/DVD in waiting room and operatories

“ IT WILL BLOW YOUR-OPRAMH IND! ”

Turn Your Child’s Dental Visit Into A Fun Experience Come Pet the Friendly Dinasaur

• Convenient afternoon and Saturday Appointments • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) analgesia • 30+ years experience • Accepting many insurances as full or partial payment • Digital radiography • Zoom Bleaching (for our older patients)

GET TICKETS

Despina Pappas D.D.S Elayne Pappas D.D.S. 215-41 23rd Road Bayside, NY 11360 718 224-0443 June 2022 | Queens Family

27


<3E G=@9 4/;7:G >/@B<3@

/[S`WQO\ 2`SO[( 3OaWZg 3\bS`bOW\ G]c` 9WRa /ZZ Ac[[S` :]\U Kids may celebrate as school’s out for the summer, but parents…not so much. There are only so many ways to entertain your kids. If you’re worried about keeping them smiling this summer, look no further than American Dream in East Rutherford, NJ. A quick drive from NYC, this amusement park has something for everyone. The Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park has Blue’s Clues-themed rides for your little 36’’ riders, and SpongeBob-themed roller coasters for your big kid thrill-seekers. Big Snow, North America’s first and only indoor, real-snow, year-round ski and

snow resort, is also now open again! The best part about American Dream is that there are so many attractions to explore. DreamWorks Water Park, the

largest indoor water park in North America, is a familyfavorite. DreamWorks features the biggest indoor wave pool, record-breaking slides, and even a lazy river. Whether it’s playing

Free community block festival for all ages! SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2022 12PM - 5PM Vernon Blvd between 50th & 46th Ave 28

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

Angry Birds Mini Golf, conquering the Mirror Maze, or playing the newly opened Escape Game, NJ’s #1 escape room, you’ll find excitement at every corner. Besides attractions, there’s plenty of stores to shop for men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel, footwear, electronics, and much more. And when you need a bite to eat, head over to one of the many delicious restaurants: Yard House for adults, the Oreo Café for kids, and Five Guys or Popeyes for the family. If your kids are off from camp for the weekend, plan your trip to American Dream today. Check out the full experience at americandream.com.


THE BEAR IS BACK! THE BEAR IS BACK! DON'TMISS MISSPOOH POOHFOR FOR66WEEKS WEEKSONLY ONLY DON'T

TICKETS TICKETS STARTINGATAT STARTING

39 39

$$

THEHUNDRED HUNDREDACRE ACRETHEATRE THEATRE THE THEATRE ROW | 410 W 42ND ST. NYC, NY

JUNE18 18--JULY JULY31 31 WWINNIE INNIETTHE HEPPOOH OOHSSHOW HOW..COM COM JUNE

©DISNEY ©DISNEY

THEATRE ROW | 410 W 42ND ST. NYC, NY

June 2022 | Queens Family

29


Ultimate SUmmer Family FUn GUide in partnership with

Family Road Trips By Serena noor

D

id you know you can via a zipline through the Hudson Valley? Or see a calf be born? Visit the battlefield sites of the Civil War and Revolutionary War? The best part? These trips are only a car or train ride away. Our annual Road Trip Guide features something for the whole family with beaches, museums, fairs, waterparks, camping, hiking, outdoor adventures, beaches, and memories that will last a lifetime. Plan away!

Mood-Boosting Summer Adventures in New Jersey This summer take advantage of everything New Jersey has to offer! Not only is this neighboring state about an hour from New York City, but it’s also the ultimate summer getaway, offering 130 miles of serene, sunkissed coastline to ready-to-stroll boardwalks, amusement parks, outdoor adventures, and tons of family-friendly attractions. Some favorites include amusement and water parks, like Six Flags Great Adventure and Crystal Springs Family Water Park; zoos, such as Cape May County Park & Zoo and the Popcorn Park Animal Refuge; and aquariums, like Jenkins Aquarium and Adventure Aquarium, that will surely make for a fun summer weekend getaway. For water lovers, explore one of New Jersey’s many beaches and boardwalks, including Ocean City, Atlantic City, Wildwood, Belmar, Sea Isle City, Cape May, and so much more. Each town has its own charm, featuring special downtown areas and main streets dotted with boutiques, specialty shops, eateries, and more. There’s also plenty to do for adventure seekers who will enjoy access to kayaking, canoeing, hiking, biking, fishing, camping, and hot air ballooning. Some points of interest to explore include Apshawa Preserve, the Buttermilk Falls Trail, Hacklebarney State Park and lakeside adventures such as Camp Glen Gray, Mohican Outdoor Center, and the Turkey Swamp Park Campgrounds. In addition to these exciting attractions, New Jersey also has incredible dining options for all palates, including distinctive multi-

30

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

cultural cuisine from iconic dining hot spots served indoors, outdoors and even on scenic rooftops. And don’t forget dessert! Ice cream lovers will delight in a visit to popular locales like Cliff’s Homemade Ice Cream, Springer’s Homemade Ice Cream, and Torico Ice Cream, to name a few. New Jersey is also renowned for its bustling arts and music scene, featuring galleries, museums (e.g. Liberty Science Center, Montclair Art Museum, and Insectropolis) and concert venues. And of course, there are plenty of opportunities to learn all about the many historical and cultural touchstones in the area, including American Revolution and Black Heritage trip itineraries, among others. Whether it’s your first time visiting or your hundredth, New Jersey offers a little bit of everything for you and your family to explore, play, enjoy and soak up the sun.


thekartrite.com

Well. This is different. NY’s newest and biggest indoor waterpark. Modern and stylish suites. Hi Tech Adventure Zone. 8 eclectic eateries and bars. Daily activites. Gorgeous hiking trails. 11,000 square feet of meeting space to accommodate large or small groups. And much, much more. Just a short walk to the spectacular Resorts World Catskills Casino Resort. Relax. Enjoy. We’ve got this. Located in the heart of the beautiful Sullivan, Catskills. June 2022 | Queens Family

31


Ultimate SUmmer Family FUn GUide

Outdoor adventures and more in the Greater Northern Catskills of Greene County The Catskills is one of New York’s natural treasures. From hiking to boating to a bustling cultural scene, there is much to see and do in Greene County. Around three hours from New York City, the area offers access to many attractions, outdoor activities, the arts, camping, and more. Nature and adventure lovers will enjoy a visit to Mountain Top Arboretum, discovering 178 acres of plants, natural meadows, wetlands, and forests throughout its many trails and boardwalks. The top elevation of the arboretum reaches 2,400-feet where you and your family can enjoy breathtaking views. For even more hiking, explore one of the area’s many waterfall hikes such as Kaaterskill Falls, Plattekill Falls, Ashley Falls, and much more. There is also paddling, stand-up paddleboarding on the Hudson River, or canoeing at the Colgate Lake Wild Forest or Earlton Hill Campground & RV Park. And with over 1,000 camping options, you’ll find places for glamping, pitching a tent, camping with your RV, or a roofed cabin. Camping not your thing? No problem! Stay at one of Green County’s many family resorts such as vacation rentals, all-inclusive resorts, hotels, inns, and more. There are also tons of family-friendly attractions for you and your family to enjoy, including Bailiwick Ranch and Animal Park where you can see exotic and farm animals; the Zoom Flume Water Park, or the New York Adventure Zipline Adventure Tours at Hunter Mountain

where you’ll get the best views of the Catskill Mountains as you swing 600-feet above the ground. Older kids and their families can also try mountain biking where you can ride over 120 trails, including paths along historical railroad tracks to rocky loops. Wind down your adventurous day with a movie at the Greenville Drive-In or enjoy a cultural attraction such as the Thomas Cole National Historic Site where you can tour Cole’s studio as well as ongoing events and workshops.

Non-Stop Fun at Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark Enjoy the ultimate summer escape by staying at New York’s biggest indoor waterpark! Located in New York’s Sullivan County, Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark is all about the fun and non-stop activities for your kids with rides and slides, pools, and of course the lazy river. The indoor area is also heated at 84 degrees where you can get some sun without direct access. Rent a private cabana for some lounging – if your kids ever want to take a break – as well as access to a TV and a stocked mini-fridge. The property also has eight eateries and bars for quick bites and sitdown meals. Make sure you try the ice cream at Pop’s Sweet Shoppe, or cookies, brownies, and cakes at The Highline. In addition to the water fun, Kartrite also has tons of indoor activities such as their Hi-Tech Adventure Zone with bowling, laser tag, virtual reality zone, ropes course, rock climbing, and more. Over the summer, they also have special events such as BBQs, luaus, carnivals, DJ’s, bouncy houses, buffets, and games as well as live entertainment including magic shows, petting zoos, and bubble shows. When your kids are finally ready to relax, you’ll love staying right on the property with access to 324 modern suites for all family sizes, including bunk bed suites and two-and-three-bedroom suites.

They also have a new lodge experience, which is beautifully set right amongst the mountains. Being in close proximity to the mountains, you can also enjoy access to six miles of hiking trails – making it the perfect family getaway that’s only 90-minutes from New York City.

32

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022


MOOD-BOOSTING FAMILY FAVORITES

Surprise yourself with summer wonders, or rediscover the places and faces you treasure most. 130 miles of serene, sun-kissed coastline. Ready-to-stroll boardwalks, amusement parks and family-friendly attractions. Distinctive dining, art, history and culture. Inspiring journeys, like our American Revolution and Black Heritage trip Itineraries. Get your free official travel guide and explore more at VisitNJ.org June 2022 | Queens Family

33


Ultimate SUmmer Family FUn GUide

A historical trip to Frederick County, Maryland Take a road trip to beautiful Frederick County, Maryland to soak in the beauty and history of this quaint area. Located just 45 minutes from Baltimore and Washington, DC and just south of Gettysburg, PA, Frederick County offers access to two National Scenic Byways, historic downtowns, local restaurants, parks, boutique shops, farms experiences, and much more. History lovers will enjoy learning more about Frederick’s part during the American Civil War, including battlefields, Monocacy National Battlefield and South Mountain State Battlefield. Families will love the area’s many adventurous offerings, such as hiking Chimney Rock in Catoctin Mountain Park or the beautiful Cunningham Falls State Park. Here, you’ll find Maryland’s largest cascading waterfall, swimming, picnicking, boating, playgrounds, and campsites. Additional attractions include the climbing adventures at Tree Trekkers, spending a day with animals at Catoctin Wildlife Preserve, or riding a themed train ride on Walkersville Southern Railroad. Rent a colorful electric bike to tour Downtown Frederick or

venture to the countryside and be sure to visit South Mountain Creamery. Here, you and your kids can watch the cows being milked, bottle feed calves, and enjoy some ice cream from the farm store! There are also 20 nationally-branded hotels for your getaway as well as options for camping. Check out their road trip guide to discover even more ideas to explore and enjoy the area.

Rhode Island: a seaside escape to “rhode” It’s all about fun in the sun during a road trip to Rhode Island. A short “Rhode” trip for New York City families, Rhode Island offers access to over 400 miles of New England’s beautiful coastline, including a beach escape for wave jumping, swimming, surfing, and sandcastle building. The area is also renowned for its cool public art, charming – and walkable – towns, rivers, local farms, and more! There’s an endless amount of familyfriendly activities in the area, including 50 museums, fishing, local farms and gardens, nature and hiking, biking on one of the 60 miles of pathways, or seeing WaterFire, an incredible 1.5 miles of lit fire that lines downtown Providence. For some indoor fun, check out the Providence Children’s Museum, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Biomes Marine Biology Center, and the Save the Bay Exploration Center & Aquarium. History lovers will enjoy learning more about the Gilded Age during a visit to Newport’s iconic mansions. Foodies will also not be disappointed that you can try some of the area’s incredible seafood, clam shacks, lobster stands, and more. In Providence, book a food tour with Rhode Island Red Food Tours. And you have to try Del’s Frozen Lemonade, a Rhode Island staple for a sweet treat to cool down with or one of the area’s many ice cream stands. Rhode Island is also home to numerous hotels and resorts from

family-friendly to ultra-luxury with properties such as Gurney’s Newport, Hotel Viking, Ocean House, The Chanler, The Beatrice, The Graduate, and Aloft Downtown Providence, to name a few. Looking for something a little more remote? Check out Block Island, a private island that’s only accessible by boat. Here, you’ll find dining, shopping, attractions, activities, and beaches. For more information and to book your trip to Rhode Island visit, https://www. visitrhodeisland.com.

34

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022


Find Your

Summer is waiting in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County. Imagine sunlit swimming spots and hiking under shade-green trees on trails that lead to as-far-as-the-eye-can-see views. This is summer in America’s first vacation destination, and it doesn’t disappoint. From glamping destinations that don’t skimp on views or creature comforts, to biking downtown and down the mountains, this season, we’re all about feeling free. #LetsGoGreene

June 2022 | Queens Family

35


Ultimate SUmmer Family FUn GUide

Celebrating Pride in NYC : NYCgo.com With pride month right around the corner, NYC is getting ready to celebrate in classic city fashion: a ton of events. Known for its inclusive and welcoming spirit, NYC boasts some of the best LGBTQ+ activities in June and year-round. But for families trying to plan ahead, finding out what’s happening and where to go can be difficult. Luckily, NYCgo. com serves up the official guide parents need to navigate LGBTQ+ in the city. Many of the events are kid-friendly and encourage families to come out and support this underrepresented group. For example, there’s “Youth Pride” in Central Park on June 25: a free event for LGBTQ+ kids, teens, and their allies to listen to influencers, activists, and great music. “Pride Family Movie Night” on June 15 in the West Village is also perfect (and free!) for families to take part in the LGBTQ+ activities. The best part about NYCgo.com is that every NYC borough is represented– from Queens Pride to Brooklyn Pride to Staten Island PrideFest, families can find Pride celebrations in their local area. And for families visiting the city in the summer, NY-

Cgo.com makes it easy to see exactly where to go to join in on the fun. Sign up now to get the latest on new LGBTQ+ NYC events, activities, and offers.

Explore New York’s Backyard in Rockland County Rockland County is a hidden New York gem that’s only 30 miles north of New York City. Offering stunning views of Hudson River as well as access to quaint villages, outdoor activities, a bustling craft food and beverage scene, rich history, and non-stop shopping and entertainment, there’s something for everyone in Rockland County. Start your day by walking or biking across the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. With access and parking points in Westchester and Nyack, you and your family can enjoy six scenic overlook points, public art across the path and historic touchpoints. At 3.6 miles and the longest biking and pedestrian path in the county, the path is also a great way to get in some exercise. For a connection to nature, enjoy access to over 200 miles of trails and parks. Great for hiking, exploring, and swimming as well as boating, kayaking, watersports, and fishing in Nyack, Piermont, Haverstraw, or Stony Point. Take in a game and enjoy some baseball fare by watching the New York Boulders, a professional minor league baseball team with a stadium right in Rockland. Add some history to your trip by checking out the Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site. This is the location of the last major Revolutionary War battle in the north with a museum, interactive programs, reenactments of battles, cannon musket firing, and more. This is also the location of the Stony Point Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River.

For some indoor fun, visit Palisades Center and enjoy tons of activities and entertainment, such as Space Adventure Glow in the Dark Mini Golf, Palisades Climb Adventure, Autobahn Raceway, 5 Wits Escape Room, the Palisades Climb Adventure Ropes Course, ice skating, movie theater, bowling at Lucky Strike, and tons more. Make sure to include walking through one of their many waterfront villages as a part of your trip as you check out a waterfront restaurant, breweries, boutiques, and Torne Valley Vineyards, Rockland’s only winery. Located in the Ramapo Mountains, this quaint winery offers tastings, live music and Friday night concerts in the summer. Complete your stay with a great night of sleep at one of the area’s sweet bed and breakfasts, hotel, or local inn.

36

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022


A STORY WITH EVERY STEP

Make moments that matter in hip & historic Frederick County, Maryland. Wander historic downtowns with locally-owned specialty shops, galleries, and theaters. Venture outdoors in National & State Parks and experience our storied past at Civil War battlefields. Indulge in world-class restaurants and unwind at dozens of tasting rooms.

visitfrederick.org • 800-999-3613 June 2022 | Queens Family

37


Ultimate SUmmer Family FUn GUide

Fun in the Sun at the Putnam County Country Fest & 4-H Showcase Summer is all about enjoying live, outdoor music and Putnam County has some of the best at the Putnam County Country Fest & 4-H Showcase. Held from July 15th-17th at Veterans Memorial Park, this country festival offers food trucks, treats, country-themed vendors, tons of games, demos, and exhibits. The event also includes horse showmanship and demonstrations, magic shows, inflatables and much more! Music takes place on Friday and Saturday nights with concerts under the stars, featuring High Noon: A Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd & Southern Rock on Friday. Come back on Sunday to view the NY Cruisers’ classic car show and the Duck Derby. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen, chairs, or blankets for a day of relaxation and fun. Get your tickets at putnamcountyny.com. July 15, 2022- July 17, 2022 Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park Gipsy Trail Road Carmel, NY 10512 putnamcountyny.com

FAMILY SPEECH CENTER The Fair We Wait all Year For: Dutchess County Fair This summer, spend a day – or more – at the CERTIFIED EVALUATION & 176th Dutchess County Fair. Running from SPEECH-LANGUAGE TREATMENT PATHOLOGISTS August 23rd-August 28th in Rhinebeck, FOR CHILDREN New York, this affordable family adventure AND ADULTS CERTIFIED OROFACIAL MYOLOGISTS is impressively also the largest agricultural six-day fair in New York State. At the fair, families will enjoy thrilling and kiddie rides, delicious food, and free entertainment. This includes music, Commerford’s Zoo, (718) Petting 939-0306 www.Familyspeechcenter.com racing pigs, juggling, and more. Familyspeechcenter@verizon.net The fair is also anaccept opportunity for farmers We most insurance plans to showcase their livestock where fairgoers can learn more about agriculture while being educated about food and where it comes from. This includes over 1,000 individual exhibitors, where farmers showcase their cows, horses, pigs, chickens, sheep, and goats. You’ll be able to see milking demonstrations, sheep shearing, and even the birthing of a live calf! There is also a horticulture building at the fair where landscapers showcase their talents in breathtaking garden displays. Guests will also be able to participate as you cast your vote in the “People’s Choice Awards” competition. Vendors will also be on hand, selling their Visit newyorkfamily.com to check it out and artisanal jams and jellies, quilts and fine arts in the many buildings up forvendors our weekly newsletters! and kiosks. sign This includes from the Hudson Valley and all over the U.S.

Partner with Us

Want to reach engaged parents across New York City?

Check us out Online! We’re the #1 print & digital lifestyle platform for engaged parents in New York.

38

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

Collaborate with the New York Family Media team to spread the word about your launches, promotions and news. Reach us can’t by emailing calling And we forgetinfo@newyorkfamily.com the food. From tunnel or cakes to 718.260.4554 sundaes to

fried pickles to turkey legs, you’ll have your fill of some delicious fare. Advance discount tickets can be purchased at dutchessfair.com.


June 2022 | Queens Family

39


ULTIMATE SUMMER FAMILY FUN GUIDE

SUMMER BUCKET LIST 57 family-friendly things to do this season in the city and beyond

BY NEW YORK FAMILY

S

ummer is here, and there is nothing more we enjoy doing than exploring our city and beyond. Whether it is jumping on the subway for a day trip or hopping in the car for a road trip to one of NY’s many surrounding neighbors, there is a lot New York has to offer. So this summer, visit one of the city’s incredible parks, take in a movie under the stars, head to an amusement park, or do anything on our list for this Ultimate Summer Bucket List is for the entire family! 1. Visit the Bronx Zoo on a Wednesday for

FREE admission; reserve your tickets (up to 4!) online 2. Take a Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise,

Seal and Bird Eco-Cruise, Staten Island Historical Cruise, Whale Watching and more on the Seastreak (seastreak.com)

7. Midway rides, petting zoos, carnival treats

and more await at the annual Duchess Fair August 23-28. Kids under 11 are always free! 8. Take a dip in one of the many Free Outdoor

NYC Parks Pools 9. Pack up the car for a family fun day and head

to Adventureland Amusement Park in Long Island to ride the jaw-dropping coaster Fireball, plus Bumper Cars, the Wave Swing, the Turbulence Coaster and more 10. Go fly a kite at Central Park

at Brooklyn Botanic Garden with its scenic wooden bridges, stone lanterns, a viewing pavilion and more 16. Plan an outdoor day trip to New Hamp-

shire’s East Hill Farm for comfy accommodations, home-cooked food, boating, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, water swimming, crafts, campfires and more 17. Spend the day at the Long Island

Aquarium to view one of the largest all-living coral displays in the Western Hemisphere, plus a 120,000-gallon shark habitat, sea lions, touch tanks and more

11. Head to the new outdoor adventure at

WildPlay Jones Beach (between fields 4 and 5), where you’ll find ziplines, high ropes courses, and freefall jumps. Take in the view of New York City while you soar down a 700-ft, high-speed zipline (for ages 5 and up)

18. Enjoy weekly concerts, food, movie nights

and kids programming at Backyard at Hudson Yards 19. Spend the day at Coney Island on the

beach, ride the Wonderwheel, walk the boardwalk and eat a Nathan’s hotdog!

12. Tour the Grand Central Terminal. Check 3. Take in the view and fun, and park at

Domino Park

out the oak leaves and acorn architectural details, the zodiac ceiling in the main concourse and the famed glass clock

4. While at Domino, eat the world-famous

Roberta’s Pizza 5. Mark this one on the calendar for NYC

Pride March “Unapologetically Us,” is June 26th; see you there! 6. Head to your nearest Urban Air Active

for play, next-level trampoline park, cool summer birthdays for ultimate kid joy

40

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

20. Check out the gorgeous views, sit for a

picnic at the new Pier 57 rooftop (the largest in NYC!) at the Hudson River Park

13. Head to New Jersey to American Dream for

the DreamWorks Water Park, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Angry Bird mini-golf shopping, delicious dining options and more 14. Explore the Hudson River via kayak 15. Stroll the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden

21. Hop on a quick ferry ride to Governor’s

Island, camp out at the Collective Retreats, and explore the Island – don’t forget to visit Slide Hill! 22. Ride the iconic Prospect Park’s Carousel,

located at the Children’s Corner, where your kids will love all the magical rides


ULTIMATE SUMMER FAMILY FUN GUIDE

23. Visit the world’s tallest indoor ropes

course at Palisades Climb Adventure. Little ones (ages 2 to 7) can ride Sky Tykes, a ropes course just for kids 24. Take the kids (5 years and up) to the

Astor Place Theatre and laugh at the Blue Men and their crazy shenanigans.

NYC and spend the day exploring the Little Island at Pier 55

adaptation of the beloved comic strip (starting June 18th and running for six weeks).

27. Take a family road trip to New City and

check out the New City Bowling & Batting Cages. Kids will love the full-service snack bar, lounge pool table, and more

30. Pack up the kids and head to Rye, NY to

spend the day at Playland, the iconic amusement park, the Playland Pool and Beach and The Boardwalk at Playland Lake

28. The American Natural Museum is 25. Visit the iconic Flagship New York Public

Library to check out books and the Beaux-Arts architecture building

ALWAYS a good idea. Be sure to check out their new Sharks exhibit.

31. Take on NYC’s only jet-powered speed

boat attraction The Beast at West 42nd St. and 12th Avenue

29. See Winnie the Pooh and his whole crew 26. Head over to the other island here in

at the Hundred Acre Theatre for a musical

32. Head to 32nd Street and 6th Avenue to June 2022 | Queens Family

41


ULTIMATE SUMMER FAMILY FUN GUIDE

satisfy your sweet tooth at the fun and interactive Candytopia 33. Visit the magical world of Harry Potter at

935 Broadway; remember to go online to sign up via the virtual queue 34. Head to Brooklyn Bridge Park for a delish

Lobster Roll at Luke’s Lobster 35. For a fun day trip (50 miles north of NYC),

check out Museum Village and experience what life was like in the 1800s WildPlay Jones Beach

36. Hop on the Staten Island Ferry (it’s free),

get a gorgeous view of the Statue of Liberty, then spend the afternoon shopping at Empire Outlets 37. Ride the Roosevelt Island Tramway. Once

there, visit Blackwell House (free), the sixth oldest farmhouse in NYC. Four Freedoms State Park and The Lighthouse 38. Pack up the beach bag and head to (an

hour car ride or an hour and a half subway ride) NY’s surfer destination Rockaway Beach

Playland

Urban Air Adventure

39. Munch on the world-famous Banana Pud-

ding at Magnolia Bakery 40. Escape the heat and head over to West Ny-

ack, NY. Watch a movie, do some shopping, go bowling and eat delicious food! 41. Bring the kids to any of the free outdoor

movies offered around the city, such as the Intrepid Museum Summer Movie Series, the Bryant Park Film Festival, and Movies Under the Stars at NYC Parks 42. Head to the 86th floor and the 102nd floor

of the Empire State Building

46. Looking for some excitement? Head to the

52. Visit the New York Aquarium to see Spine-

Alley Pond Park Adventure Course on Sundays for a free program for families with children ages eight and older, where you’ll test your skills and mettle with obstacles like the Human Swingshot, Wild Woosey, Zip Line, Climbing Wall, and more.

less, the popular “bizarre but breathtaking” invertebrates exhibit. 53. There is nothing like seeing the Yankees

or Mets play America’s favorite pastime in their home stadiums, no matter who you root for

47. Hop aboard RiseNY and virtually glide

over NYC’s skyline and landmarks while suspended 30 feet in the air! 48. Head to Rockaway Beach with the family

54. Skate your way to summer fun at The Roll-

A-Rama at JFK airport, the Roller Rink at the Standard Plaza, United Skates at Atlas Park, and more

and learn to surf at New York Surf School 55. Make your way to Splish Splash Water Park

43. History buffs will want to visit The

Orangetown Historical Museum and Archives, where you’ll find children’s crafts, storytime and yoga

49. Head to L&B Spumoni Gardens in

Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, for a slice of their famous Sicilian-style pizza and some refreshing spumoni ice cream for dessert.

for a day of water rides for the whole family, including a special section for the little ones 56. Catch a flick at Midtown’s Rooftop

Cinema Club 44. Broadway is back! Check out shows like

Beetlejuice, Aladdin and more 45. The Madison Theatre at Molloy College

in Long Island will be showcasing In The Heights & Xanadu in June, and in July you can see All Shook Up, and in August watch Freda Payne as the titular role in Ella, First Lady of Song

42

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

50. Stop by the annual Our Lady of Mount

Carmel Feast of the Giglio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for rides, games, and classic Italian treats this July 51. Head to Downtown Manhattan to visit the

new Battery Playscape, an eco-inspired playground featuring twisty slides, tree houses, a puppet theater and more

57. Work on your golf swing at Monster Mini

Golf (Westchester and Rockland), an indoor facility with an 18-hole glow-inthe-dark mini-golf course, full arcade, two lanes of mini bowling, and more Reporting by Jeannine Cintron, Donna DuarteLadd, Shara Levine and Courtney Ingalls


HILLCREST JEWISH CENTER DAY CAMP Program for Children 4-15 Years Old

Kimmy Ma ARTStudio

Visit hjcdaycamp.org for a VIRTUAL TOUR

Art Show & OPEN HOUSE 6/4-5 (Sat/Sun 11-2:30) All Welcome & Free Admission

or Email us to arrange an IN-PERSON TOUR

DAY TRIPS New for summer 2022: RED CROSS SWIM PROGRAM Robotics and Virtual Reality LARGE GYMNASIUM & SPORTS CATERED KOSHER LUNCHES • DOOR-TO-DOOR TRANSPORTATION DRAMA & ARTS AND CRAFTS GYMNASTICS AND DANCE DRONE TRAINING & KRAV MAGA JEWISH CULTURE PROGRAM WEEKLY COOKOUTS Visit www.hjcdaycamp.org to register NOW! 183-02 Union Tpke., Flushing 11366 • 718-380-4145 Hjcdaycamp.org • daycamp@hillcrestjc.org

Summer Art 7/18-8/11 (M-Th) Age 10+ @1:15-3:45 Age 5+ @4:30-6 Sibling discount available www.kimmyma-ARTStudio.com

646-209-9352 • 190-19 Union TPK, Fresh Meadow, NY 11366

facebook.com/kimmyartstudio Instagram: kimmymaartstudio

gardenschool.org 718.335.6363

GARDEN SCHOOL CONGRATULATES the CLASS OF 2022! Garden School Class of 2022 College Acceptances

June 2022 | Queens Family

43


José Rolón

of @nycgaydad

On being a single parent, letting people see you in all your crazy glory and looking for love By Donna Duarte-LaDD

C

hoosing a cover is always fun here at New York Family, and we’ve wanted to feature a dad for quite some time. We have, of course, had dads on our covers, but the pandemic, as we all know, threw us a few curveballs. Finally, after a year plus of catching up on canceled photoshoots, we were ready for our dad. There is no top-secret system for choosing a cover parent. They happen pretty naturally — but I knew I wanted a New York dad. José Rolón came into the mix one day while on a walk in Paris (I know this part sounds rather dreamy); with Alexis Barad-Cutler (of @ notsafeformomgroup and former NYF cover mom). Alexis reminded me of her friend José. José, a wedding planner, became a single father when his husband, Tim, suddenly passed away. Not only did he lose his partner and become a widower overnight, he became a single father to then eight-month-old Avery, with twins via surrogate on the way! Now nine years in on this parenting journey, José is known for sharing his life with his three kids Avery, now age 9, and twins Lilah and London, ages 8, via his IG media handle @ nycgaydad. He is also known worldwide for his TikTok fame; He started sharing videos at the height of the pandemic as a relief from the grind of homeschooling and running a business. What I admire most about José and his influencer fame is how he reframes and shows thousands (almost 400,000 followers!) what parenting looks like as a single, LGBTQ Latinx dad raising three kids. Hint, it is not so different from what it looks like for you or me— just perhaps with more humor, a reminder to all us parents that we can use a slice of daily comedy. If you haven’t checked out @nycgaydad, please do! It is gold, and it is something we all didn’t know we needed.

44

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

When your late husband Tim passed away -you became a single father overnight with your surrogate pregnant with 11-week twins. How the heck did you get through those early years? Honestly, by saying yes to anyone who offered help. Every. Single. Time. We already had our incredible nanny, Leti, who was truly our savior, but because I had announced we were 11 weeks pregnant while giving Tim’s eulogy right away, we gained a strong support system. Here’s what I have found as I have this conversation often. I find single mothers have a lot of trouble asking for help. This is partly because in our society, women have the pressure of high expectations that they should innately know what to do, when the truth is, it’s hard no matter which way you slice it. Me as a single father, nobody, assumed I knew what I was doing. This worked to my benefit. I believe we’ve had a bigger support system than most two-parent households. The problem with us parents, moms in particular, is we often don’t want people in because we don’t want them to see the house is a mess or see us yelling. After all, we’re supposed to have it together. I’d say put your ego and pride aside, let them in — see you in all your crazy glory. We need to stop trying to be superheroes. Parenting burnout is real. So whatever we can do to minimize the gaps between those moments, the better. As a fellow Latino, I fully get “machismo.” How have you reversed this cultural trait in your life; how are you parenting differently as a single dad? My father, a firefighter and a marine was the epitome of machismo. Strict in every way, never talked about his feelings, and tried to enforce on what a man should be and how I should act. Clearly, this didn’t work on me. For me, it’s important to show a lot of love and

affection to my kids. Talking about feelings is incredibly important. They’ve seen me cry and understand what a happy cry looks like. With the world constantly changing politically, it’s important to model what it means to be compassionate, respectful, and empathetic. In my mind, this is what the modern dad should teach and emulate. LGBTQ community is important to you. How has the community helped you in parenting? It has helped me! More specifically, dads within the LGBTQ community. Sometimes I get the question, “why do you have to be a gay dad, why can’t you just be a dad?” referencing my username, @nycgaydad. You know being dad without labels is the goal, but we’re not there yet. The current climate with bills being passed in states like Florida where kids of the LGBTQ community can’t even bring in a family photo proves just that. When I scored the username nine years ago, I did this (and used hashtags like #gaydads) as a way to find and be easily found by other gay dads because I had only known a small handful. It’s unbelievable how many of us have discovered each other. I started a brunch for Father’s Day 6 years ago for other gay dads as a way to say thank you for the community that gave so much back to me. We are now 100+ every year now. What does your support system look like? My current support system is beautiful and plentiful. Almost everyone close in our lives is an uncle or titi, or cousin, but Uncle Ryan, Uncle Dave, and Titi Christine are consistent mainstays who keep me in check at my best and worst. PS8 in Brooklyn Heights, where we live, has been a phenomenal support system for my children. From the top-down, they’ve had our best interest at heart, making sure we feel welcomed in every way. And there’s not a single teacher my children have


real weddings from around the globe. Being a single dad and being a wedding planner go hand in hand. I have a reputation in the industry for being calm under pressure. When you’re a single parent of three, there’s nothing the industry can throw at me that’ll phase me. Our industry also has a lot of personalities to sometimes manage, and when I’ve got three big ones at home, everyone else is a walk in the park. I love what I do. Which makes coming home even sweeter. I feel like they both feed each other in the best ways possible. You became an influencer during the pandemic with now almost half a million followers, how was it been for you and the kids? It’s crazy. It wasn’t intentional. It really happened in this organic way. I made silly videos with my kids during the pandemic for my own sanity. There were dark things happening (and still) in our world, and people wanted to see positive and wholesome content. So some of our videos started to go viral. Then the mainstream media got a hold of us. I think being Latinx and LGBTQ with my own personal journey checked off a lot of boxes for them when they were looking for inspiring stories. I’ts a case of being at the right place at the right time. The core of our message has been showing folks our family is no different than theirs… we are just a little more colorful. NYC Gay Dad is now a family business with fun projects ahead. I mean, we even have a merch store as the kids like to say. Truly unbelievable.

Photo by Ana Gambuto

had I haven’t been obsessed with. Then there are the parents in our neighborhood. I’ve been in one too many unpredictable close calls that have been saved by calling a few of my neighborhood parents to bail me out. You’re about to tape a wedding show? Can you share what the show is about and how

it is to be a single dad and be a wedding planner? Ah, yes! I’m stoked to be hosting a new show, “Wedding Talk,” with Tara Lipinski airing on the Crackle Plus networks in October. The show celebrates all of the heartfelt, memorable, and fun moments of a wedding and features video footage from some truly inspiring

Lastly, you are looking for love (whoo hoo). What does the ideal partner look like for José and kids? Ay Ay Ay. This has been a bit of a challenge. I’ve had a couple of relationships since Tim passed, so it’s possible. My schedule has been so crazy lately with these great opportunities, so dating has been more challenging than usual, but this, for me currently, is the one missing piece. I find I’m my best self when I’m in a healthy relationship. I’m looking for someone who is OK with three things; being with a creative whose schedule is not your typical 9-5, enjoys being around three beautiful little humans, and has their mental faculties checked. Lol. If they can cook, that’s a bonus. Most people wouldn’t guess; my happy place is being on the couch as many nights as possible after 8 PM when kids are in bed with a good show and some good Puerto Rican comfort food. Follow Jose on IG and TikTok @nycgaydad. June 2022 | Queens Family

45


calendar By Shara Levine

QUEENS

Traditions Festival ‘22 WHEN: June 3-4, Friday and Saturday, 12-5pm WHERE: King Manor Museum, 150-03 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica AGES: All WHAT: Join the museum for two days of arts and festivities featuring Queens artisans and small local businesses representing a variety of cultures from the World’s Borough, as well as costumed historical interpreters. WANT TO GO?: 718-206-0545. kingmanor.org/calendar/ traditions-festival-22.

Celebrate National Trails Day - Family Friendly Hike WHEN: Saturday, June 4, 2-3:30pm WHERE: Alley Pond Environmental Center, 224-65 76th Ave., Oakland Gardens AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy the natural environment around you along with all the benefits of being outdoors: sunshine, fresh air, and exercise. WANT TO GO?: $15; free for children. 718-229-4000. alleypond.doubleknot.com/ event/celebrate-nationaltrials-day-family-friendlyhike/2905046.

Annual Student Art Show WHEN: June 4-5, 11am-2:30pm WHERE: Kimmy Ma Art Studio, 190-19 Union Turnpike, Fresh Meadow AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate selfexpression and the creative voices of students at this annual art show. WANT TO GO?: 646-209-9352. https://kimmyma-artstudio. com/.

46

Inti Raymi Sun Festival Movie Night at the Garden: Onward WHEN: Saturday, June 18, 7:30pm WHERE: Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing AGES: All WHAT: Watch the heartwarming quest of two brothers to reconnect with their late father and make a paper mushroom house and Father’s Day card. WANT TO GO?: $55 family 4 pack (Two Adult + Two Child, Student, Senior, or Individual with Disabilities); $17 adult ticket; $15 Child, Student, Senior; discounts for members. 718-886-3800. qbgmovienightonward. eventbrite.com.

Juneteenth Celebration WHEN: Saturday, June 18, 2-4pm WHERE: Lewis Latimer House Museum, 34-41 137th St, Flushing

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022

AGES: All WHAT: Take part in this joyous celebration of freedom and African-American culture! WANT TO GO?: 718-961-8585. lewislatimerhouse.org/events/ juneteenth2022.

Inti Raymi Sun Festival WHEN: Saturday, June 18, 12-4:30pm WHERE: Queens Museum, 11101 Corona Ave., Flushing AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate Inti Raymi, or Sun Festival, with a ceremony by Abya Yala Arte y Cultura, art making for the whole family, and dance performances from the Andes. WANT TO GO?: 718-592-9700. queensmuseum.org/events/ inti-raymi-sun-festival-2022.

Summer Festival WHEN: Sunday, June 26, 1-4pm WHERE: Katzman Playground in Yellowstone Park, 106-21 68th Ave., Forest Hills

AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate summer with music, arts & crafts, games, fitness challenges, inflatables, sports activities, and prizes. WANT TO GO?: nycgovparks. org/events/2022/06/26/ summer-festival-atyellowstone-park.

Summer Sports Experience: Schools Out Festival WHEN: Monday, June 27, 12-4pm WHERE: Playground in Wayanda Park, 217-60-217-72, Hollis Ave., Cambria Heights AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate the last day of school with an afternoon of fun including basketball skills and drills and gameplay, fitness challenges, an obstacle course, and prizes. WANT TO GO?: nycgovparks. org/events/2022/06/27/ summer-sports-experienceschools-out-festival.


talks 5 Must-watch for parents 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 New York Family Speaker Series.

D�n’t mis� �u�! One quick registration gets you access to the entire lineup. Register now:

newyorkfamily.com/speakerseries

For additional questions or sponsorship opportunities, please email us at speakerseries@newyorkfamily.com June 2022 | Queens Family

47


Magic Day Camp

WE ACCEPT G PARTICIPATIN S UNION 1199

LOC AL UNI 731 MEM ON DIS BER COU NT

” ! l a c i g a M s i y a D “Where Every Fully Licensed Camp Professionals

FREE Door to Do or Transportation

AIR-CONDITIONED Buses!!!

Daily Swimming at Country Club Pool with instruction

• Daily Swimming at a Private Country Club Pool • Organized Sports

2-8 Week Sessions Available

for: Discounts NYPD FDNY Nurses Military

• Daily Hot & Cold Lunches with Special BBQ and Pizza Days Included

• Arts & Crafts • 3 Exciting Trips Every Week • Spacious Outdoor & Indoor Play Areas with Air Conditioning

SPECIAL CAMP HOMESITE OPEN HOUSE EVENTS! 216-01 Union Tpke., Bayside

Weekday Evenings and a Saturday Morning Thurs. 1 June 9th 6:30-9pm Early Drop Off and Extended Day d e n w O Fri. June 10th 6:30-9pm Family ed for LICENSED PROFESSIONAL SUPERVISION t a r e p &O s Fri. June 17th 6:30-9pm 0 Year Convenient Bayside Location Over 3 Sat. June 18th 9am-12pm Children Ages 4 to 15 FREE parking at the side parking lot We Can Be Reached at (718) 634-8109 • www.magicdaycamp.com 48

NewYorkFamily.com | June 2022