Long Island Family - Nov/Dec 2022

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Nov/dec 2022


November Fun

Discover great local seasonal events, activities, museums and more!

Our Special Needs Guide • Uncovering the Biggest Myths About Autism • The Benefits of Occupational Therapy

The Best Birthday Party Roundup!

Family of Kidz

Providing Therapeutic And Educational Services To Help Kidz Reach Their Full Potential Special Education Services Therapeutic Services including Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Parent Training, and more Autism Services including ABA Therapy Mental Health Counseling including Parent and Family Counseling and Group Therapy Behavioral Consultations and Interventions Our services and evaluations are available to all children and are offered in the home, at our locations, in schools, and via remote platforms, where applicable.

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What rights do students have? Children do have legal rights, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a law designed to ensure that all students with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education that meets their unique needs and prepares them for the future. Safeguarding legal rights is often critical to a student’s success. In situations where school districts aren’t in compliance, the Law Of�ices of Andrew M. Cohen can advance a resolution that best serves your child’s well-being and education.

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November/December 2022 | Long Island Family



November 2022 NewYorkFamily.com

pg. 36

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FEATURES 14 | Special Needs 5 common myths about Autism Spectrum Disorder 18 | Special Needs The many benefits of OT and what parents need to know 26 | Parties TK TK Best Birthday Party Places 28 | Holiday Highlights Start planning your seasonal celebrations 30 | Health Rainbow Fentanyl, what parents need to know

Stories & columns 6 | Editor’s Letter 10 | Spotlight Dressage riding is a passion for L.I. teen 22 | Family Day Out Check out Old Westbury Gardens’ Shimmering Solstice 24 | Family Fun 10 Things to do on Long Island this fall 38 | Family Day Out Illuminate the Farm at Queens County Farm Museum

32 | Family Day Out NYC Art Museums 34 | Julee Wilson The beauty editor shares how she learned her worth and advice for other women find their way in the world


NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

Family fun 36 | Calendar All the fun events and activities for November

Directories 17 | Special Needs Listings



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Committed to providing psycho-educational and neuro-developmental evaluations for over 15 years Dr. Sanam Hafeez and her clinical team are renowned for their expertise in neuropsychological and psychiatric evaluations. The assessments performed at CCPS are tailored for extra time, treatment planning for medication and therapeutic recommendations, as well for private school placements. Parents are often so inspired that they make appointments for themselves seeing their children mirror their struggles. At CCPS, we strive to help the whole family achieve optimal success and wellness.

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Editor’s Note


Nina Gallo Photography

November Shifts November is a gorgeous month for the weather shifts from warm days to crisp and chilly fluffy coat weather. It is also a time when you may be looking for inside adventures- check out our roundup of tips on navigating NYC Art Museums (page 32) with kids! On a special needs note, if you have been told your child may need OT, our expert piece on How Can Occupational Therapy Help My Child? (page 18), is informative on its many benefits that will answer many of your questions. If your child’s birthday is coming up (or

you’re like me and plan in advance), we have a superb round-up of the 7 Long Island’s Best Birthday Party Places you must check out! Lastly, writer Cris Pearlstein chatted with Julee Wilson (page 34) beauty editor extraordinaire and executive at BeautyUnited. This mom of two shared on how she learned early on that dimming your light to make others feel comfortable is no way to live. Julee shares how she came to know her worth and her advice for other women trying to find their way in the world.

Publisher: Clifford Luster Executive Director: Donna Duarte-Ladd Associate Publisher: Erin Brof Advertising Director: Stacie Goldberg Deputy Editor: Jeannine Cintron Digital Editor: Kaitlyn Riggio Events Manager: Shara Levine Reporter: Barbara Russo Senior Adviser: Susan Weiss Partnership Managers: Lauren Alperin, Lauren Anchin, Joan Bergman, Mary Cassidy, Chris Cunningham, Lori Falco, Shelli Goldberg-Peck, 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: Tiana Henriquez, Adam Mobley, Campbell Schouten

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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


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Welcome winter in New Jersey—from candlelight tours in Cape May to snow tubing in the Skylands. View dazzling light shows and live performances of The Nutcracker and other classics. Experience Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Great Adventure and shopping at Palmer Square in Princeton. Discover museums like the Liberty Science Center and enjoy journeys with American Revolution and Black Heritage Itineraries.

Get your free official travel guide and discover more at VisitNJ.org

November/December 2022 | Long Island Family


New York FamilY partNer

Friends Academy Rooted in Tradition with a Firm Grasp on the Future


arents have so many hopes and dreams for their children. Choosing a school to help kids achieve to their highest potential involves a tremendous amount of trust. Named the #1 College Prep Private High School on Long Island for the past three years running, Friends Academy has been earning parents’ trust for nearly 150 years. Competing in today’s world, however, takes more than accolades and an illustrious tradition. As the world develops and adapts to new technologies like AI and a post-fossil fuel energy grid, innovation is increasingly a key factor in your child’s education. It’s a crucial difference.

Innovation is a Key Value at Friends Academy. Every division at Friends Academy has created innovative curricula like its Entrepreneurship Programs in Upper, Middle, and Lower Schools. Friends Academy offers Upper School students the opportunity to


participate in programs such as Solutions in Medicine and Financial Literacy. There is more to come, as well, because Friends has started a capital campaign to build an Innovation Center — an entire building that will house its Innovation Signature programs. Ensuring Friends Academy’s commitment to innovation is a full-time job, which is why Daniel Mendel is the school’s Dean of Innovation. His job is to work across all divisions to form partnerships among colleagues who will establish and execute exciting new courses. Dean Mendel will also be charged with bringing the mission of the Innovation Center to fruition. College Preparation: The Right Guidance for Your Child Friends Academy has a 100% success rate when it comes to preparing students for and placing them in the finest colleges and universities in the US and the world. At Friends, the faculty realize that college isn’t the end of the road, but the

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

beginning, which is why students are given a holistic approach that prepares them both for their academic journey, and the rest of their life. Edward Dugger is Friends Academy’s Director of College Counseling and an Upper School teacher. A graduate of Cornell and Columbia Universities, Mr. Dugger has built a program of success that has helped Friends Academy graduates matriculate to some of the world’s leading colleges and universities. Of course, success in academics and acceptance at leading universities are valuable, but what sets Friends Academy apart are the values that underpin the school’s mission: Guided by Quaker principles, Friends Academy educates students to discover the best of who they are and who they can become. To learn more, contact Taisha Thompson at Admisssions@fa.org. Also, sign up for their Open House at friendsacademy.org/admissions!

We are Friends Academy. Since 1876, Friends Academy has set the standard of academic excellence on Long Island. We are the #1 ranked private school on Long Island and an independent, collegepreparatory Quaker school, serving age 3 - Grade 12. Our timeless values elevate our academic program to create a unique educational experience, where your student will be empowered to inquire, reflect, and engage in real-world, life-changing ways.

And we can’t wait to meet you! We welcome you to our immersive in-person Open Houses in all three of our outstanding divisions. Meet our Admissions Team, Principals, Teachers and our amazing students. Give us 90 minutes to show you why Friends Academy is the best investment you can make for your child’s future. All Open Houses start at 9 am. Please RSVP online at friendsacademy.org/admissions Upper School: Nov. 1

270 Duck Pond Road Locust Valley, NY 11560

Middle School: Nov. 8

Lower School: Nov. 15

Dedicated faculty, small class sizes, time-honored Quaker values – find out how the #1 Private K-12 School in Nassau County could be the right fit for your family. Please, ask us about financial aid. Call our Admissions Team at 516.676.0393 or visit admissions.fa.org. November/December 2022 | Long Island Family



Dressage Riding is a Passion for L.I. Teen By Barbara Russo


orses are beautiful creatures, loved by so many. Emily Jackowski, of Millbrook, NY, competes in dressage riding, and considers these majestic animals to be companions…and teammates! Dressage is a form of horse riding that is often performed in competition. Sometimes, people pursue it just for fun or to become a dressage master. Jackowski does it for both reasons. She’s a successful horse rider who also loves the sport. This year, she and her horse, Havanna, even had a chance to participate in a national dressage event for junior riders. “It’s a really interesting sport. It’s not something that’s easy to understand just by watching it,” Jackowski, who’s been active in dressage since age 9, said. “But once you know how it works, it’s super interesting.” It can be quite relaxing to see dressage in action. The horse seems to gracefully dance and delicately trot, often in time to background music. The goal is to make the moves look as effortless and seamless as possible. “It really is beautiful. It’s like a partnership you create with the horse. It’s essentially dancing,” the young equestrian explained. “It’s dancing with your horse instead of a human.”

National Dressage Riding Competitions There’s so much more to dressage than what meets the eye. It requires great skill by both rider and horse, and training for competitions can be very intense. Jackowski trains five to six days a week, usually two to three hours at a time. Right now, she’s training for Young Riders, which is a next up from her current Junior position. To rise up in the ranks, there are specific moves she has to practice,


including tempi changes, an exercise in which flying changes of canter lead are put together. (THINK: Horse choreography!) And of course, doing a lot of lateral work and stretching is important, too. In addition to her equine associate, Havanna, Jackowski has two other horses who are part of her dressage team. “I try to keep my training varied, so I don’t drill movements all the time. It’s important to keep it interesting for the horse and make sure they’re not overworking,” she explained. Jackowski’s trainer is Wes Dunham, who has trained many horses and riders from training to competition levels. She’s currently training at Grand Prix, which is the highest level of dressage. ICYDK: It’s also an Olympic sport. As a junior dressage rider, Jackowski participates in FEI divisions. In August, she participated in the FEI North American Youth Championships as one of only four riders selected to represent her region, which consisted of New York and several New England states. She and Havanna competed

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

as both an individual and team. During her individual competition, she ranked 7 out of 30. During the same month, she competed in the prestigious U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, held in Wayne, IL. Only the top 12 junior dressage riders in the country are invited to compete in the junior division for the national title. She and Havanna galloped into 6th place. “It was great. It was my first time being there. Just taking in the whole environment was great. All of the top riders for the U.S. are there. You get to watch, not even just compete. It’s quite amazing,” she said. About Jackowski’s Dressage Horses Jackowski’s horses live in a local dressage barn, where, when they’re not competing, they relax, play, and just enjoy their down time. Jackowski, who loves animals, stresses that it’s important to treat the horses with love, care and respect. “We’re on equal terms. We’re teammates,” she said. “I treat them with respect, and some of the horses I ride have

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much more experience than I do. It’s almost like your horse is your mentor in a way. Even though they can’t speak, they can tell you things from how they’re behaving or how they’re reacting. Being aware of that is very important for the sport.” Dressage has helped Jackowski in areas of her life outside of riding, as sports often do for young people. Motivation and care and respect for animals are just some of Jackowski’s key take-aways from dressage. “It’s taught me a lot about discipline and being compassionate,” she said. “It’s taught me a lot about sticking with something. It’s all about the time and energy you put in to make something happen. It’s taught me a lot about animals, people and feelings.” Jackowski has a deep connection with all of her horses. She recalled how sad she was about two years ago when one of her horses passed away. “It’s always very sad when something happens to them. Horses have a long lifespan, about 20-25 years. So, you expect to be with them for a long time. When they’re young and something happens to them, it’s

especially sad,” she said. Future Plans Jackowski plans on attending college and will probably major in business, she explained, adding that she’d also like to further her dressage career.

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“I would want to go to a world championship, but the Olympics are awesome too,” she enthusiastically said. To learn more about dressage riding or Emily’s story, visit her website at emilyjackowskidressage. com.

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November/December 2022 | Long Island Family



5 Common Myths About Autism Spectrum Disorder

There are a lot of stereotypes about autism that just aren’t true. Here’s what parents should know BY KATELIN WALLING


hile the awareness of autism spectrum disorder has grown due to social media, increased research, Autism Awareness Month, and more, there are still many misconceptions about ASD, from its causes to the characteristics and abilities of those on the spectrum. As its name denotes, autism is a spec-


trum, meaning not everyone diagnosed with autism displays the same traits, exhibits the same behaviors, or has the same abilities— just like you or me. So applying blanket statements to those on the spectrum would be like saying girls can’t throw or boys don’t cry. We spoke to experts about stereotypes of ASD, and uncovered the truth behind five big misconceptions about the disorder and those diagnosed with it.

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

Myth 1: Vaccines cause autism. Unfortunately we do still hear the misconception that autism is related to vaccinations, commonly the measles, mumps, rubella vaccination, says Sarah Kuriakose, Ph.D., BCBAD, clinical assistant professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health. “Not only was the initial study that showed that a fraudulent study, but follow-up studies have debunked that many times,” she explains.

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November/December 2022 | Long Island Family


Special needs

There are other concerns that autism is caused by “various environmental factors that a pregnant mother may be exposed to and in utero some of those environmental causative factors may have somehow affected the fetus,” says John Pfeifer, senior director of Clinical Services and the Family Center for Autism, part of Life’s WORC, a Long Island nonprofit that supports people with developmental disabilities and autism. “There’s still ongoing research about the expansion of electromagnetic technology and various environmental chemicals and such that may be at play, but not knowing everything in the environment that may be affecting a fetus, either seen or unseen, makes it hard to decipher that.” “What we do know about autism is there seems to be a genetic component, and about ten to twenty percent of cases with ASD are linked to an identified genetic disorder,” says Dr. Kuriakose, who is also senior director of the NYU Langone Autism and Developmental Neuroscience Initiative and the clinical director of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical and Research Program at NYU’s Child Study Center. “We anticipate that that number will go up with more genetics research. But even in identical twins, the concordance rate is not one-hundred percent, so we know there is some factor that is not genetic as well.” Myth 2: People on the spectrum are anti-social and don’t have feelings. Dr. Kuriakose says parents, teachers, and even doctors will tell her things like, “that child can’t have autism because…he’s affectionate, …she makes eye contact, or …he’s interested in other kids.” “So what can end up happening is people have this very black-and-white picture that a person with autism is someone who is anti-social and isn’t interested in other people,” she says. “We know that those aren’t necessarily true.” Yet thanks to this persistent myth, a child who does have autism might not be given a diagnosis—his parents may be hanging on to the fact that their child is affectionate though he is struggling in other ways. “It is often thought that people with autism don’t have feelings, which is a very sad misconception and very far from the truth,” adds Janet Koch, CEO of Life’s WORC. “They are capable of having loving relationships with family members and friends.” Myth 3: People with autism exhibit challenging and/or maladaptive behaviors.


“It is often thought that people with autism don’t have feelings, which is a very sad misconception and very far from the truth.” “It’s not fair to say that challenging behaviors are inherent in the diagnosis,” Pfeifer says. “They are often a byproduct of ineffective treatment of some of the things that are inherent in the diagnosis, which are communication and socialization difficulties.” These behaviors could include flapping hands, rocking, or other selfstimulatory behaviors. “We still unfortunately have the misconception from previous media portrayals that kids with autism are nonverbal, are going to sit in the corner, and just rock or flap their hands,” Dr. Kuriakose says. As society becomes more educated about autism, people are learning about adapting communication efforts. “I have young children, and they’re learning in integrated classrooms about what these behaviors may mean. It could actually help a person [on the spectrum] to not escalate to such a significant behavior because they’ll be able to communicate more easily with people who have been taught how to communicate with them,” Koch says. Myth 4: Those on the spectrum are savants and/or are fixated on one topic. The media commonly portrays those with autism as being savants or having restricted interest in a singular subject area: Sam Gardner in Netflix’s Atypical and Shaun Murphy in ABC’s The Good Doctor are two recent portrayals. “Certainly we have kids and adults with autism who have an amazing depth of knowledge in a particular area, incredible memory, incredible pattern recognition skills, things like that that are going to set them up for a particular career,” Dr. Kuriakose says, but not all people on the spectrum show these characteristics. In fact, the most recent criteria for an ASD diagnosis from the Diagnostic and

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fall into two categories: social communication and restricted, repetitive behaviors (RRB). There are four traits that fall under the RRB category—repetitive speech or behavior/ mannerisms, restricted interest, sensory challenges, and difficulty with transitions or insistence on sameness—and a person needs to only exhibit two of the RRB traits (and meet criteria from the social communication category) to receive a diagnosis of autism, according to Dr. Kuriakose. “So you could have a kid who has some sensory challenges and insistence on sameness without any restricted interest at all and you could still have the diagnosis,” she says. Myth 5: People with ASD can’t go to college, have jobs, or get married. Because some people with autism may struggle with social situations, have communication challenges, and have difficulty with flexibility, there’s the misconception that they will not be able to attend higher education, have a job, or get married and have kids. “There are lots of examples of folks with autism who do successfully do those things, and the big thing that’s important is it’s all about the supports the environment can provide,” Dr. Kuriakose says. When working with a patient who is looking at colleges or employment opportunities, Dr. Kuriakose looks for a setting that is supportive of that patient’s strengths and challenges. In fact, “a lot of individuals with autism are actually really great, dedicated, passionate employees, but it has to be a setting that can understand that they might process information and interact in ways that are slightly different from typical.” In terms of getting married, Dr. Kuriakose says there are quite a few instances where she’s diagnosed a child with autism, and a few months later their parent will observe that they’re seeing some of the same characteristics in themselves or another family member. “And these are all people who had families,” she says. Combatting the myths So how can we continue to combat these and other myths about people on the spectrum? “Just like with any other group, you shed your misconceptions when you have more close relationships with people in that group,” Dr. Kuriakose says. “And so I really would encourage people to engage with lots of individuals with autism.”

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Family of Kidz 1400 Old Country Road, Westbury, NY 2341 New Hyde Park Road, New Hyde Park, NY 300 Garden City Plaza, Suite 350, Garden City, NY 1737 Veterans Memorial Highway, Islandia, NY 20 Riverleigh Avenue,

Riverhead, NY 516 806-6969 info@familyofkidz.com Family of Kidz has been a leader in providing services to children for over 25 years, including Educational & Behavioral Services, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Mental Health Services. Our mission is to help all individuals reach their full potential.

Law Offices of Andrew M. Cohen, P.C. 1100 Franklin Avenue, Suite 305, Garden City 516-877-0595 amcohenlaw.com ac@amcohenlaw.com The Law Offices of Andrew M. Cohen provides personalized, high quality special needs estate planning and special education legal services at a reasonable cost. Attorneys Cohen and Adler-Greene also conduct free workshops on several topics for agencies, schools, and parent groups.

Suffolk Center for Speech 718-939-0306 familyspeechcenter.com familyspeechcenter@verizon. net Family Speech Center uses certified Speech-Language Pathologists who are trained to evaluate and diagnose adults and children with specific speech, language or swallowing difficulties. Services include speechlanguage evaluations and treatment for individuals with articulation and stuttering problems. Assessment procedures depend on the age of the client; very small children are assessed in an informal play-based environment.

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Variety Child Learning Center provides evaluations, early intervention, special education (special classes, special classes in integrated settings, itinerant services), ABA, and Family Center Respite Program to more than 750 children (birth to 10) and families annually, and professional training. Approved and licensed by DOH, SED, OCFS and OPWDD.

Winston Prep Long Island 30 Deforest Road, Dix Hills 631-779-2400 kpreston@winstonprep.edu Winston Preparatory School Long Island is a leading school for students with learning differences, including dyslexia, ADHD, and nonverbal learning disorders. Learn more about their nationally recognized program at winstonprep.edu.

A Place to be Understood Choosing the right school for your child with a learning disability is essential. Winston Prep Long Island is a leading school for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, ADHD, and nonverbal learning disorders (NVLD). Visit our website at www.winstonprep.edu/long-island to learn how Winston Prep's expert faculty designs a highly individualized academic program to meet your child's needs and help them succeed! Scan Here To Register For Our Next Open House

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inston Preparatory School in Long Island Campus 30 Deforest Road, Dix Hills, NY 11746 | 631.779.2400

November/December 2022 | Long Island Family


special needs

Occupational Therapy The many benefits of OT and what parents need to know By Jeannine Cintron


very child develops at their own pace.” I have repeated this (absolutely true) statement countless times before, always in an effort to comfort a concerned friend or relative who is wondering why their child isn’t walking yet, talking yet, playing yet or reaching any number of milestones a parent will anxiously await when their kids are young. I’ve even said it to myself a few times. A parent’s job is to worry, right? But what happens when it becomes apparent that “their own pace” is nowhere near that of other children their age? Words of comfort from a friend should be replaced by the advice of a professional, which is when the occupational therapist might come in. We chatted with Nicole Benedicks, a school-based certified Occupational Therapist, who shared with us what the OT


does and what a parent should expect if their child is starting this kind of therapy. What does an Occupational Therapist do? Generally, occupational therapists work with people of all ages in a variety of settings to enhance or recover function, teach or modify a skill, or adapt a task or the environment to promote independence. Occupational therapy helps people live more independent lives and engage in everyday activities that are purposeful to them. I work with children in a special education school environment (K-5) to support and enhance students’ school-based skills. I work with a team, which can include the teacher, speech therapist, and physical therapist, guidance counselor and/or social worker. I typically work with students 1:1 or in a small group to develop or enhance skills to help them function and be as independent as possible within the school environment. Areas of

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

focus can include writing, cutting, dressing, feeding, visual perceptual skills (e.g. puzzles), and visual motor skills. What is the difference between Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy? There is a lot of overlap between the two professions. The most common assumption is that occupational therapists focus on the upper extremities and that physical therapists focus on the lower extremities, but that is not always the case. Both professions focus on the entire body and movement, but occupational therapy typically focuses on improving a person’s ability to engage in everyday activities, and evaluates limitations that might be affecting their daily performance. Physical therapy, on the other hand, focuses on movement, specifically a person’s physical abilities and limitations in their mobility, strength and range of motion, and evaluates their movement dysfunction. How can you prepare your child for Occupational Therapy? It is beneficial to start therapy immediately once you notice there is a problem or delay in development. When your child is very young there isn’t much you can do to prepare them for occupational therapy. However, if

"Occupational therapy helps people live more independent lives and engage in everyday activities that are purposeful to them."

therapy begins when your child is old enough to understand that they are meeting someone new, preparation will depend on your child’s age and level of cognition. Typically, OT sessions include play activities, so explaining to your child that someone new will be coming to play with them may help to prepare for their session. I typically recommend having a child’s sessions scheduled for an optimal time of day where you would expect them to perform their best (i.e., not too tired, not overstimulated). Avoid allowing them to be engaged in a desired task (e.g., playing with a tablet, watching television) just before their scheduled session because removing the desired item can lead to a meltdown and your child may make a negative association with their therapist.

and use in their everyday lives. For children with more severe cognitive and/or physical deficits, treatment can last through childhood into adulthood.

How long can treatment last? The length of time a child receives treatment varies based on the child’s needs. Treatment can be on a consultative level where a child may not receive direct services and an OT can provide useful information and strategies that families can implement

What does treatment look like for a child who mildly needs OT versus a child who has a disability? Typically, treatment for a child with mild delays focuses on specific areas of deficit and the OT will work to develop those problem areas to promote independence.

When a child has a more severe disability, an OT will typically work on a range of skills focusing on helping children play and learn in a purposeful way. When physical disabilities are involved, treatment can include strengthening tasks, fine motor muscle development, improving dexterity, and adapting a task or the environment so they can engage in tasks in a modified way. What should a parent consider when selecting the right OT professional for their child? I would recommend finding a therapist that works mostly with children, and more specifically, if your child has a diagnosis (e.g., autism, cerebral palsy), finding a therapist that has a lot of experience working with that population. You might want to schedule a “trial” session before making a decision to see how well your child responds to them. You should also consider what works best for your family and your schedule. Children can be seen in their home, at school or in a clinic-based setting. Finding what works best for your child is really going to differ from one family to the next.



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844-5-SPEECH www.LIspeech.com

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November/December 2022 | Long Island Family


New York FamilY partNer

Fall Activities at American Dream


merican Dream is the ultimate destination for indoor fun and action-packed attractions for kids of all ages. Home to the DreamWorks Water Park, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, Black Light Mini Golf, Angry Bird Mini Golf, Big SNOW, The Rink, SEA LIFE Aquarium, the fun doesn’t stop there! Shop at North America’s largest Zara, Lululemon, Saks Fifth Avenue and more! Don’t forget to stop by the first-ever MrBeast Burger, House of ‘Que – BBQ prepared Texas Style, and fine-dining Italian by Carpaccio. This fall, you’ll also find tons of special events and activities that will truly be a dream for you and your family. Dream Day Sundays – The Ultimate Fan Zone Watch football with your family every Sunday at House of ‘Que. Wear your


favorite jersey for an all-day indoor tailgating experience. Women’s Pro Hockey Skates Into American Dream See The Metropolitan Riveters take the ice at American Dream this fall. This women’s team from the Premier Hockey Federation will be playing on The Rink during opening weekend on November 19th at 1:00pm and 20th at noon. Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience Experience the artistic wonders of Van Gogh through this immersive experience. Kicking off on December 1st, the exhibit features the use of cutting-edge technology and original music that breathes new life into 300 of his paintings. Guests will love walking through this 30,000-square-foot space, soaking in the fusion of art and technology.

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

Get a Dream Pass and Season Pass Enjoy all of the awesome experiences at American Dream – for both parks at a discount! Dream Passes allow you and your kids to experience the fun of DreamWorks Water Park and Nickelodeon Universe this fall and winter at a discount. The Season Splash Pass for DreamWorks Water Park cost $179 per person and the Season Thrill Pass for Nickelodeon Universe is $125 per person. Soaring Skies Bundle Save on a thrilling adventure to American Dream with a Soaring Skies Bundle. The bundle combines a day pass to Nickelodeon Universe and a pass to Dream Wheel, NJ’s only observation wheel for $89 per person. Passes can be used for one day or over two days. Check out the full experience at americandream.com!

Book a Better Birthday at American Dream! Reserve one of our exclusive, world-renowned indoor attractions for your next birthday. Plan an epic Birthday today

@americandream • americandream.com • 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073 November/December 2022 | Long Island Family 21

family day out

Shimmering Solstice! Old Westbury Gardens offers a family-friendly light show By Campbell Schouten


re you looking for a family fall outing from New York this fall? We have got you covered! Head out to Old Westbury Gardens this November and December to see their Shimmering Solstice holiday light show experience! Back for its second year, this historic mansion in Long Island plays host to the perfect holiday outing. This year, visitors can expect three new exhibits, a new illuminated water feature on the West Pond and an updated Westbury House finale show! Get into a holiday mood as you stroll past dazzling light displays and seasonal music. Chilly weather? Not a problem– visit the Garden of Appreciation to get warm and


enjoy cozy concessions! This is sure to be a great holiday outing for the whole family. Tickets are required to be purchased before the event, so be sure to get yours in advance! Buy before October 15 to take advantage of the presale discount deal: 20% off adult tickets and buy one adult ticket, get one child ticket 50% off using the promo code BOGO50. Once you buy your tickets,

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

you can change your visiting dates at any time! Tickets are $34.95 for adults; $19.95 for children ages 2-13; $26.95 for seniors ages 65+ on Sundays. From November 25 to December 21, visit Friday through Sunday from 5:30 - 9:30 pm. From December 21 to January 1, visit Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 - 9:30 pm.

November/December 2022 | Long Island Family


family fun

10 Things to do on Long Island this November


here’s no shortage of fall fun and things to do as we head into the holidays (and school breaks!) on Long Island! From farms and museums to a brisk walk on a beach we have tk ways to enjoy the upcoming holidays. 1. White Post Farms


Pay a visit to Patches and Oliver, the resident giraffes at White Post Farms. While there, enjoy a train and pony rides, and feed the birds at Ronnie’s Birdie Landing. 2. Long Island Game Farm longislandgamefarm.com

Say hello to more than 200 animals at the Long Island Game Farm, the largest combined children’s zoo and wildlife park on Long Island. Its zebra, Zypher, is expecting! 3. Sweet Briar Nature Center sweetbriarnc.org

Visit the butterfly vivarium and reptile room at the Sweet Briar Nature Center. Don’t forget to also check out the Discovery Area, which includes a sandbox, a hobbit house, other activities where children can paint and make music. 4. Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve parks.ny.gov/parks/caumsett

Before it gets very cold you can hike or bike through acres of woodland, meadows, rock shoreline, and salt marsh at Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve.

Fire Island Lighthouse

Walk the nearly 2½ miles of marked trails at the Uplands Farm Nature Sanctuary. It’s a former dairy farm that has been transformed into a preserve with bird and butterfly meadows and a white pine-shaded ravine.

6. Uplands Farm Nature Sanctuary nature.org


9. Nassau County Museum of Art nassaumuseum.org

7. Old Bethpage Village Restoration oldbethpagevillagerestoration.org

5. Fire Island fireislandlighthouse.com Throw on some layers and walk along the pristine beaches of Fire Island. Then explore the salt marsh on a guided tour and climb to the top of the Fire Island Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse on Long Island.

weather boat, herb garden, strawberry maze, sunflower house, evaporating art easels, and water play area.

Take a step back in time at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Your family will find out what it was like to live during the mid-19th century.

Marvel at the outdoor sculpture garden at the Nassau County Museum of Art. There’s also an arboretum, nature garden, and trails to explore. 10. Deep Hollow Ranch deephollowranch.com

8. Long Island Children’s Museum licm.org

Get your hands dirty at the outdoor backyard at Long Island Children’s Museum. This interactive outdoor exhibition includes a

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

Live like a cowboy at Deep Hollow Ranch, the oldest working ranch in the U.S. Families can ride horses on the trail to explore Montauk’s beautiful scenery (private guided tours are available.)

New York FamilY partNer


Winston Prep Long Island

hoosing the right school for your child with a learning difference is essential. Winston Preparatory School Long Island, located in Dix Hills, is part of Winston Prep’s national network of schools that offer a highly individualized learning environment for students grades 4-12 with learning differences, including dyslexia, ADHD, and nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD). At Winston Prep Long Island, emphasis is put on discovering who each student is, what their strengths and learning needs are and, based on their learning profile, designing an individualized curriculum that is grounded in on-going evaluation by a team of expert faculty and staff. The feedback from Winston Prep parents is often that, for the first time, their child is being understood. While their child is learning and excelling, parents are comforted by the fact that they have found a community

where their child belongs and thrives. Winston Prep’s Continuous Feedback process is designed to gain a deeper understanding of the students, facilitating constant assessment, remediation, and analysis of each student’s response to their individualized program -- while

building a strong community. This process is accompanied by Winston Prep’s Focus Program, where every student receives one-to-one instruction daily with their highly trained Focus Instructor to target important individualized goals remediating their greatest needs. Winston Prep’s graduation statistics are stellar and they speak to the strength of the education method. Winston Prep’s high school graduation rate is 99.7% whereas about 18% of students with learning differences nationwide drop out of school. Over 80% of Winston Prep high school graduates enroll in a college or university program, while the average nationally is 33%. Learn more about Winston Prep’s unique program and join an in-person open house: https://www.winstonprep.edu/ our-campuses/long-island or contact the Admissions Director Michele Bellatoni at mbellatoni@winstonprep.edu.


What the Neuroscience of Spirituality Reveals About Our Capacity for Health, Happiness and Resilience With author Lisa Miller, Ph.D. Tuesday, Nov.1, 2022, 4 p.m. ET Curious Children, Wise Elders: How Childhood and Elderhood Shape Intelligence and Learning With Alison Gopnik, Ph.D. Tuesday, Nov.17, 2022, 4 p.m. ET

Register for FREE at NewYorkFamily.com/LIParentEd

November/December 2022 | Long Island Family



7 Best Long Island’s

Birthday Party Places By New York Family


irthday Party planning can be right up there with trying to find the right daycare provider. Ok, fine, they aren’t that stressful. Yet, we want our kids to have a fantastic birthday experience, and if your kids are like ours, they may start bringing up their birthday at least ten months before the big day. So yes, there is a bit of pressure. And, of course, all parents want their kids to have an amazing birthday party. Fortunately, we got you covered! What if we told you we could take a large chunk of that worry from your to-do list? We can, as we have 6 of the best spots to throw a birthday party in and near Long Island. From parties that include an indoor water pool to a venue where the kids can be creative and sew, we have 6 of the best places to start planning that birthday party! American Dream Head to this fun spot for a memorable birthday party at the world-renowned indoor attraction American Dream for your child’s next birthday. Stay cool by the pool at DreamWorks Water Park or coast into thrills at Nickelodeon Universe! At the American Dream fun destination- the birthday possibilities are endless. Kids can enjoy visits with their favorite characters, customizable food & drink menus, face painting & glitter tattoos, Magic Memories photo & party favor packages, Candy raid, Graffiti wall and more. 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073, 833-263-7326, americandream.com/ locations, americandream.com/birthdays. Bounce Bounce! Family Entertainment Center in Syosset offers fun indoor birthday party packages and open play sessions on Long Island. Kids (and parents!) will love their bumper cars,


laser tag, arcade games, a sprawling soft-play arena with climbing obstacles and slides, and a new toddler town area, in addition to trampoline dodgeball, slam-dunk basketball, the adventure zone (indoor ropes course with zip line and rock climbing) and even more. Their party packages are designed to make it easy for the parents and fun for the kids. They even have a full kitchen and catering menu with pizza, salads, wraps and appetizers AND a bar stacked with an impressive beer, wine and mixed drink menu for the adults! Bounce, 330 Michael Drive, Syosset N.Y. 11791, 516-7621300, bouncesyosset.com. Dream Wheel NJ Take a day trip and head to The new Dream Wheel NJ at The American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, NJ. This fun destination offers a wide range of kids’ birthday party packages to make the special day unique and unforgettable! Private areas and café space paired with private “gondolas” to experience amazing views of the NYC skyline from almost 300 feet in the air. For yummy food, partygoers can eat at Deep Fried Love; the in-house carnival-type treats café. Munch on Deep Fried Oreos, Corndogs and cotton candy, and it is not a party if you don’t have four choices of flavored lemonade. Your party kid and friends will make memories that last forever! Dream Wheel NJ, 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073, 201-800-4261, DreamWheelNJ.com, info@ dreamwheelnj.com. The Fashionable Stylista Looking for an amazing fashion birthday party that all your child’s friends and parents can’t stop talking about? The Fashionable Stylista is a Fashion Design Academy located in Syosset that teaches fashion design skills and sewing on a machine. In addition to their

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

educational classes, they have fashionable birthday party packages to make a fantastic fashion party for your child. The birthday kid can choose from various design projects, from non-sewing parties for larger groups to sewing projects for smaller groups. The projects are stylish, fun and creative. The professional staff is hands-on, allowing the

from one of the show’s sea lion stars! Kids can be picky. We appreciate that the party packages vary, with options for every budget and menus available. And to make like more manageable for you, the parent, each party gets an ice cream cake. Upgrades like a cotton candy machine, candy buffets or favor boxes are also available. You can also schedule a Penguin Meet and Greet to get up close with one of our favorite feathered friends. The party doesn’t have to end when the candles are blown out; guests will have access to the Aquarium for the entire day. Long Island Aquarium, 431 E Main St, Riverhead, NY 11901, 631.208.9200, longislandaquarium.com. Saf-T Swim Who doesn’t love a swim birthdat party?! With certified lifeguards, a personalized party area, and comfortable warm-water pools for you and your guests, Saf-T-Swim ensures unforgettable celebrations. Their attentive party specialist takes the headache out of planning by helping you coordinate every detail, from setup to cleanup. When it’s time to celebrate, their trained lifeguards will host your personalized pool party for a safe and festive celebration. Saf-T-Swim offers a variety of pool party packages ranging from two to three hours. Parties include a private party room with tables and chairs, private use of an indoor pool, pizza, a special keepsake gift for the birthday child, plus much more. Best of all, their parties can never be rained out! Multiple Locations in Nassau & Suffolk County. Go on the website for location or email for more party information. Saf-T Swim, 866- 723-3794, saf-t-swim.com/swimparty, info@saf-t-swim.com.

children to design to their full potential! All of the fashion design parties, let the children be the designers! All projects consist of the most fashionably fun, stylish and creative projects that the students love. The Fashionable Stylista, 70 Gordon Drive, Syosset, NY 11791, 516-465-5763, thefashionablestylista.com.

Long Island Aquarium Make a wish with the fish and have an Aquatic Birthday Party at the Long Island Aquarium. You’ll get the party started with their friendly party hostess in your private party room set with aquatic-themed paper goods. Your guests will get special seating at the sea lion show and the birthday child will get a special shout-out

Social Play Haus Social Play Haus located in Plainview, NY, is not your average event space. If you are looking for a unique birthday party experience, one where the adults have fun while the kids celebrate- this Instagram-worthy celebration will do all the work at this family-friendly beer garden. Their modern and trendy vibe sets them apart from any other party venue. Kids can play in the modern play area while adults (even without kids) enjoy delicious hot food with local craft beer and wine options. Their large open space accommodates up to 90 guests and has ample parking. There are also package options, including balloon art, dessert tables, event styling, crafts and more, all done in-house. Parties get booked 4-6 months in advance, so we advise you to book early. Social Play Haus 200 Express St., Plainview, NY 11803, 516-200-6444, socialplayhaus.comwww.socialplayhaus.com

November/December 2022 | Long Island Family


sponsored content



By Jeannine Cintron & new york Family advertising Partners


or some, the holiday season does not truly begin until the Thanksgiving turkey is carved and eaten. For others, the magic begins the moment the Halloween decorations come down. We here at New York Family are definitely more the latter (we’ve already swapped out the apple cider for some eggnog). So although it’s still early, we just had to reach out to some of our partners to find out what they have in store for the most wonderful time of the year. Check out their holiday highlights below and be sure to stop by NewYorkFamily.com all season long for TONS more holly jolly fun! HERSHEY’S Melted Hot Chocolate Hershey’s Chocolate World Times Square, 47th St & 7th Ave chocolateworld.com/locations/times-square.html Warm up the holidays with a HERSHEY’S Melted Hot Chocolate. The signature recipe uses a full HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate bar mixed with white milk and topped with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, chocolate chips and a snack-sized HERSHEY’S Bar. Santa Parade & Ribbon Cutting Queens Center Mall 90-15 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst, NY 11373 shopqueenscenter.com/Events/SantaParade November 19, from 1 PM to 3 PM, visit Level 3 of the Mall for our Santa Parade and Holiday Kick-Off event. There will be costumed characters, music, performances, and of course a visit from Santa! American Dream 1 American Dream Wy, East Rutherford, NJ www.americandream.com American Dream is the ultimate destination for indoor fun and action-packed attractions for kids of all ages. Home to the DreamWorks Water Park, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, Black Light Mini Golf, Angry Bird


Mini Golf, Big SNOW, The Rink, SEA LIFE Aquarium, the fun doesn’t stop there! Shop at North America’s largest Zara, Lululemon, Saks Fifth Avenue and more! Don’t forget to stop by the first-ever MrBeast Burger, House of ‘Que – BBQ prepared Texas Style, and finedining Italian by Carpaccio. This holiday season, you’ll also find tons of special events and activities that will truly be a dream for you and your family. Elf the Musical at Madison Theatre 1000 Hempstead Ave, Rockville Centre, NY 11570 (516) 323-4444 madisontheatreny.org Go to the Madison Theatre on December 17-23 for this holiday classic the whole family will enjoy! Elf the Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toymaking abilities cause him to face the truth. Girl Scouts of Suffolk County’s Holiday Light Show and Enchanted Forest Smith Point County Park, Shirley Southaven County Park, Yaphank gssclightshow.org November 26 to December 30, the dazzling displays of Girl Scouts of Suffolk County’s Holiday Light Show are back and better than ever. This year, the celebration is offered as two family-fun experiences, the drivethru Holiday Light Show at Smith Point County Park in Shirley, and a new walkthru Enchanted Forest Holiday Village at Southaven County Park in Yaphank. Visit the website for tickets and early bird pricing.

ome for the Holidays Your H !


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Girl Scouts of Suffolk County and County Executive Steven Bellone Present

19th Annual Holiday Light Show & *NEW* Enchanted Forest Our Holiday Light Show is BACK, and this year it’s better than ever! It’s our 19th year celebrating the holidays with our dazzling displays, and we are bringing you two family fun experiences this year! Our drive-thru light show is back at Smith Point County Park, and we are launching a new walk-thru Enchanted Forest at Southaven County Park in Yaphank.

gsscholidaylightshow-nyfamily-halfpagead.indd 1


Light Show

Drive-thru our Holiday Light Show and visit the Enchanted Forest. Early Bird Discount: Use code HOLIDAY22 to save more. Tickets start at $40.

Drive-thru our Holiday Light Show at Smith Point County Park. Early Bird Discount: Use code FESTIVE22 to save more. Tickets start at $22.

Enchanted Forest

Buy Tickets Online

A walk thru experience at Southaven County Park with displays, music, games, firepit, and Santa. *Includes a free drink & snack, a photo with Santa, and access to our outdoor activities.* $10/person.

Scan QR code or visit gssclightshow.org to buy your tickets today!

Learn more at www.gssclightshow.org Girl Scouts of Suffolk County’s Holiday Light Show


Early Bird & Girl Scout Offer ends Friday, 11/25 at 11:59 PM. Questions? lightshow@gssc.us 10/17/22 1:31 PM

November/December 2022 | Long Island Family



Rainbow Fentanyl What parents need to know By BarBara russo


deadly new drug is on the rise in the United States, and it’s designed to look like candy to appeal to kids. Dubbed unofficially as “rainbow fentanyl,” this dangerous combination of manufactured chemicals is making its way into communities around the country in the form of small, colorful pills that resemble Skittles, Smarties or other popular candy products often given out during Halloween. “Rainbow fentanyl—fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes and sizes—is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults,” Anne Milgram, DEA administrator, said. Fentanyl, which started showing up on the West Coast earlier this year, is now making headlines in NYC. Last month, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and law enforcement partners seized 15,000 of the colorful pills in Manhattan. The significant seizure, the largest to date in New York City, signals more widespread distribution of the pills. The case highlights Mexican cartels’ most recent tactics to attract the public while deceiving them about the lethal drugs, the DEA said. “Rainbow fentanyl is a clear and present danger, and it is here in New York City,” Frank Tarentino, DEA Special Agent in Charge, said. “Approximately 40% of the pills we analyze in our lab contain a lethal dose. And in a recent 15-week enforcement operation, DEA New York seized half a million lethal pills.” Fentanyl is relatively cheap for drug dealers and their lab cronies to make. In fact, the pills are often made to look like real prescription opioids, such as Oxycontin or Xanax. So, anyone who thinks they’re buying an Oxycontin can very well be getting fentanyl, which is far more potent, and far more deadly. According to the DEA, fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equal to 10-15 grains of


table salt, is considered a lethal dose. Without laboratory testing, there is no way to know how much fentanyl is concentrated in a pill or powder. To recap, fentanyl is not often a drug that tweens and teens are seeking out. Instead, it’s often in the other drugs kids are using. “Teens for the most part understand how dangerous fentanyl is but rarely understand that it can be mixed into other drugs that they feel are ‘safer,’” Keri Cooper, LCSW, and author of Mental Health Uncensored: 10 Foundations Every Parent Needs to Know, explained. “Parents need to have honest conversations about drugs and how they are made and how buying pills off the street may likely have fentanyl mixed in them. It is never safe to be buying a drug that is made in

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

someone’s basement. Anything can be in it.” It’s also possible for marijuana to be laced with fentanyl. “While kids might not be directly exposed to fentanyl, they might be offered something like marijuana that could very well be laced with fentanyl,” Lisa Bonaviso, Ph.D., and licensed mental health counselor at Pleasantville Wellness Group, Westchester, said. Here is some more information on what parents need to know about fentanyl and how they can help keep their kids safe: What is fentanyl? Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. There are two types: Pharmaceutical fentanyl and illicitly manufactured fentanyl. Both are considered

synthetic opioids. Under controlled circumstances, pharmaceutical fentanyl is an effective medicine approved for treating severe pain. Doctors use it to relieve pain in patients during and after surgery. Fentanylrelated overdoses are linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl. What makes fentanyl so deadly? It’s a more potent drug than many others and can easily be disguised to look like a painkiller or party drug. It is 50 times stronger than heroin, and just a small amount is considered a lethal dose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the drug depresses the central nervous system and respiratory function. It can cause breathing to stop. How would a parent know if their child has taken fentanyl? There’s no way to tell if a pill or powder contains fentanyl just by looking at it, so the best thing to do is to not take any illegal drug. Test strips can tell you if a drug contains fentanyl, but not how much is in it.

What can a person do to help someone who is overdosing? Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths. Over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the CDC. If you think someone is overdosing, the CDC recommends treating it like and overdose, and call 911 immediately. Also administer naloxone if it’s available. Try to keep the person awake and breathing. Lay the person on their side to prevent choking. Children should always know that if they or a friend are seeming sick after using drugs, they can’t be afraid to immediately reach out for help, Cooper explained. “Parents need to let their kids know that their life is more important than their fear of getting in trouble,” she said. How can parents talk to their kids about drugs and peer pressure? Parents need to acknowledge that all kids just want to fit in. It’s normal, and it’s not always easy to do something different from the

crowd, Cooper said. “In saying that, parents need to have conversations with their kids about which friends would support their decisions, who are good friends and talk about what positive friendships look like,” Cooper explained. “There are many kids who don’t do drugs and sometimes it’s just about finding one or two other kids to stand up together.” Bonaviso underscored the importance of talking to kids about drugs and keeping the lines of communication open. Informing them is key. Not to scare them, but to let them know the realities of fentanyl or drug use overall. “Children are very curious. So it’s natural that they’d want to explore or experiment,” Bonaviso said. “But, parents giving them the reality of the long- and short-term effects of drugs might make them think twice before trying it.” She added that it’s important for parents to remind their children that illegal drugs are not controlled. “They’re coming from the streets, so you don’t know what people are contaminating them with,” Bonaviso said.



On being a cancer mom and a cancer survivor (who writes about her highs and lows @alexawilding) and shares about her rollercoaster journey to accepting her many identities and her take on the word resilience

all about you! •










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November/December 2022 | Long Island Family


family day out

NYC Art Museums A pArents guide to nAvigAting them with kids

By Kaitlyn Riggio & Donna DuaRte-laDD


e have all been there- you decide to spend the day at one of the many museums in the city, as NYC has no shortage of art museums. Perhaps you want to check out an exhibit or have you and the kids stare away at a Monet. And we are lucky- our city is full of the best museums in the world and visiting one is an educational day out for all. Plus, bringing your kids to museums comes with a whole host of benefits. It encourages a love of learning, develops their curiosity and critical thinking skills and inspires them to create independently! But also, kids are kids and not all want to hang out for hours. This is why we have our own personal tips coupled with representatives (from the most visited art museums in New York City) insider tips. We’ve gathered these helpful tips as well as the best offerings/ programs for families and kids to ensure you get the most out of your visit. Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Avenue metmuseum.org Open Sunday through Tuesday and Thursday, 10 am to 5 pm; Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 9 pm A New York staple, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) showcases over 5,000 years of art from around the world. The Met has a wide variety of programs for kids and their families to help them engage with the art, like story times, art treks around the museum, family afternoons and more. They also offer an audio guide for kids, which includes thirteen tours with kid-targeted messages for artworks throughout the major areas of the museum. The Met is pretty vast and if you have young kids they may get a bit exhausted, we suggest checking online and mapping out what floors and wings you would like to visit. A few favorites are the Egyptian Art Wing, European Paintings and not to be miss is the Kimono


Style: The John C. Weber Collection (until February 20, 2023)- a gorgeous exhibit of kimonos from the late Edo period through the early 20th century and runs until February. Your kids can even explore the Met from home! #MetKids is a digital feature where kids can learn about the museum’s works of art, watch behind the scenes videos and even get inspired to make art of their own. Tip: Tickets for New York State residents and New York, New Jersey and Connecticut students are pay what you wish! Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53 Street moma.org Open Sunday through Friday, 10:30 am to 5:30 pm; Saturday 10:30 am to 7 pm , Kids under age 16 are free The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is committed to sharing modern and contemporary art with visitors. When visiting galleries as a family with kids, try turning your visit into a search-and-find experience. Look for people and places on Floor 5, lines, shapes and colors on Floor 4 and interesting materials on Floor 2. The MoMA, while rich with art that adults appreciate, can be a lot for kids especially young ones. This doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy this amazing museum. We suggest you stay for a short time if bringing young kids and sticking to art that they may gravitate towards like Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night and Pablo Picasso’s Girl before a Mirror– both on the 5th floor. Since kids under age 16 are free you can visit this museum a few times a year and explore a new section at each visit! Definitely check out the MoMA’s Kid’s Activity Guide. They offer movement, writing and drawing activities to do in front of artworks. While you’re visiting, be sure to visit the Heyman Family Art Lab, where families can create art by drawing, working with wire, engaging in light-box play and more. Tip: Looking to take a break during your visit? Spend some time in the Sculpture Garden or in the lounges throughout the museum.

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

Whitney Museum of American Art 99 Gansevoort Street whitney.org Open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10:30 am to 6 pm; Friday, 10:30 am to 10 pm; Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 6 pm. Kids admission is free Located in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, the Whitney Museum of American Art displays a collection of twentiethcentury and contemporary American art. One of the ways that the Whitney strives to make their collection more accessible to children is through their kids guides. Available in English and Spanish, the guides contain descriptions of artworks that could be interesting to children. They share information about the art (including the title, artist and what the piece is about) and invite visitors, especially children, to imagine themselves as an artist by thinking about questions and even giving them the opportunity to create artwork of their own. Whether you are visiting for the first time or the tenth, the views from the terraces as well as from the picturesque widows within the museum are pure wow! Additionally, the Whitney has an ongoing program called Open Studio for kids. Families and kids have the opportunity to create their own works inspired by what’s on view in the museum. Tip: Cris Scorza, head of education at the Whitney, says families should bring a snack, maybe a pack of colored pencils and a notepad and, most importantly, an open mind when visiting as a family. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Ave, guggenheim.org Open Sunday through Monday and Wednesday through Friday, 11 am to 6 pm; Saturday 11 am to 8 pm The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum collects, preserves and interprets modern and contemporary art. The Guggenheim offers

include tables with intergenerational games, like skelzies and dominoes, that invite visitors to relax and play as part of the exhibition. It will be on view from Oct. 26 through April 30. Tip: Admission is always free! Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Ave mcny.org Open Thursday, 10 am to 9 pm; Friday through Monday, 10 am through 5 pm The Museum of the City of New York gives visitors the opportunity to celebrate the city’s past, present and future. They offer programming for families, like the upcoming Movies for Minis event. Exhibitions on view will give kids an opportunity to learn about the city. There’s also a Kids Create series, where kids have the chance to take part in interactive art-making activities. Tip: If you’re looking for a unique tour, check out the 80s-themed scavenger hunt that will take you and your family through all three floors of the museum.

programming for children and families. For example, students in third to fifth grades can explore and create art in the Art After School program. There’s programming for older kids too. GuggTeens give teens the opportunity to learn about museum operations from a variety of different perspectives. Families visiting can use the kids audio guides to learn about different artworks. Tip: Download family-friendly Art Kit activity sheets to encourage your kids to create their own art! Frick Collection Temporary home: 945 Madison Avenue frick.org Open Thursday through Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm While the Frick Collection’s historic buildings are closed for renovation for the time being, you can still visit Frick Madison to explore artworks from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century. This is a great choice if you’re looking for something to do with older kids– children under 10 are not admitted. Tip: The Frick Collection offers pay what you will admission on Thursday evenings from 4 pm to 6 pm! Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Parkway brooklynmuseum.org Open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm The Brooklyn Museum’s mission is to

connect visitors with art in a way that changes how they see themselves and the world. First Saturdays are a staple. Visitors of all ages from Brooklyn and beyond can enjoy free programming once a month. Other programming options include Yoga on the Stoop, where attendees of all ages can enjoy a relaxing outdoor yoga session. Keep an eye out for Stroller Tours, an interactive strollerfriendly tour designed for children up to 24 months old. It features touchable objects, music and an opportunity for parents to connect with each other. Current exhibits the family will enjoy Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” and Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe (January 29, 2023). Tip: Looking for a way to enhance your day in Brooklyn? Stop by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden after visiting the Brooklyn Museum! Buy a Museum & Garden Pass to visit both spots on the same day. The Bronx Museum of the Arts 1040 Grand Concourse bronxmuseum.org Open Wednesday through Sunday, 1 to 6 pm The Bronx Museum of the Arts’ collection includes over two thousand works of art. The upcoming exhibition, “Swagger and Tenderness: The South Bronx Portraits by John Aheam and Rigoberto Torres,” is sure to be a great experience for the whole family. It will

New Museum of Contemporary Art 235 Bowery newmuseum.org Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm The New Museum is a contemporary art museum in Manhattan’s lower east side. Their goal is to create a dialogue between the public and contemporary artists. “Off Grid” by artist Kapwani Kiwanga is a great exhibition for kids and families on display through October of this year. Kids can enjoy the exhibition’s colors, shapes and natural lights and adults can enjoy engaging with Kiwanga’s ideas about how bodies experience and inhabit structures of power. While you’re there, also be sure to check out the 7th floor Sky Room. The floor to ceiling windows and balcony offer beautiful views of Downtown Manhattan that anyone of any age can enjoy. Keep an eye out for the museum’s Family Days! These events include free admission to all exhibitions for kids and two adults per family and art-making activities at extended morning hours. If you can’t make it on Family Day, don’t worry: entry to the New Museum is always free for anyone under 18. The museum also offers a Kids Menu newsletter, so you can keep up to date with all of the museum’s offerings for kids and families. Tip: Visit the galleries on weekdays for a quieter, more intimate experience. Go to the front desk for packets that include large print wall labels and stools.

November/December 2022 | Long Island Family


Shining Bright

Julee Wilson, @missjulee, beauty editor extraordinaire, shares how she learned her worth and what advice she has for other women trying to find their way in the world By Cris Pearlstein


ull disclosure: I’ve known Julee Wilson since 2007, when we were both young, hard-working magazine editors trying to find our way in the fashion industry. I liked her from the day we met. She was outgoing, confident as hell, really funny, and always kept it real. She had a magnetism to her that drew you in—when she told a story, people hung on every word. I need to tell you before I go any further with this piece that she is the same exact way today, 15 years later. Except today she has two beautiful sons (Orion, 8, and Nadir, 21 months), a rockstar of a husband, and almost 72K followers on Instagram—who also hang on her every word. She still keeps it real, sharing the highs and lows of her life with an openness and vulnerability that Instagram could frankly use more of (everything from pep talks she gives to herself when she’s having a bad day, to being open about her diastasis recti and how she has not “snapped back” after having kids). Since those days of hustling as a young editor, Julee left fashion behind and has become a force in the beauty industry, making a major impact from the inside out (she counts publishing a story in Cosmo about how Black women interact with beauty as one of her proudest moments). You can also rely on her to introduce you to all the other smart, successful women in her life (and there are many) because she believes in lifting women up, and helping them to shine their light. Oh and let’s not forget, her feed is full of photos of her absolutely adorable boys (if you haven’t clicked on the hashtag #wombfire yet, do yourself a favor). So, dear reader, do you now understand why I’ve been manifesting this cover story for so long? I knew you would love her. I knew you would learn from her. And, most of all, I knew you would want to know her. Read on to hear about how she got her start as a young Black woman in publishing, her incredible rise to beauty editor powerhouse, and why she never lets a day


go by without being grateful for the family she came from and the family she has now. CP: Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself, and how you ended up where you are today? JW: So my professional journey kind of actually started in college, when I decided I wanted to write fashion. That was when I was laser focused on getting the type of experience I needed in order to break into this industry. I knew being a young Black woman that I didn’t see much of myself in the industry, so I knew I had to start early. Most people do internships between their junior and senior years, I started interning after my freshman year. I interned at Bergdorf Goodman, because the father of one of the girls who went to my high school was a senior vice president there.That was my first “in”. After that experience I interned at Vibe magazine, then, between my junior and senior year, I got into the Condé Nast Internship Program and was at Condé Nast Traveler magazine. It was exciting because I was able to write so I had bylines. I was able to go to the newsstand and pick up the magazines and see my name in print, which was crazy. Later I found my fulltime job at Real Simple, and then that started my real journey. I stayed there for six and a half years. It was great. I feel like it was such a strong brand during that time. The magazine was thick, they had international editions. It was so sick. I was traveling, I did media training, I was able to go on the Today Show. I’m like, 24 years old going on the Today Show doing segments, it was amazing. They really trusted me. But by the time 2011 rolled around magazines were folding and keeping their websites it was very clear that digital was about to take over. HuffPost reached out to me about Black Voices and I was like, why not? I got the job and it was a turning point. I’ve had very challenging jobs before, but I always say I went from a monthly to a minutely. I used to work on three to four stories a month. Now I was writing three to four stories a day. Writing

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

three to four fashion stories a day was a lot, so when they added beauty it really helped diversify my content and my voice and I just started to fall in love with beauty. It feels more universal. It feels like an industry that I can really make a difference in. But the real turning point in my career was when Essence reached out to me to write a cover story. CP: I’ll never forget something you said to me back then: “Don’t let anyone dim your light” or “They will not dim my light.” And I think for you that was really it. JW: I mean, look, people get threatened by what you have to offer. And to me, everyone has magical talents and traits. I’m just here to show mine off, you show yours off too. But whatever relationships I had or personality that I had that was exciting, or drew people or whatever, they would see it as some type of indictment on their own light. And I’m like, that’s got nothing to do with you. That’s just me being Julee. But I do stand by that today: Don’t let anyone dim your light. I used to dim my own light to make others around me feel comfortable. I have learned over the years— and I wish I had learned it sooner—that I am not responsible for how those people feel when I’m shining my light. And whatever consequences come from that, I just have to ride with it. If that means them being, you know, cruel or bullying me and passive aggressive, I just have to eat it and know that what’s to come is better. Because yeah, it takes a lot of energy, stressed anxiety to dim your own light—while also having their hand on the knob dimming you. CP: So tell me about being a Black beauty director at a legendary brand that is not maybe known for its coverage of diversity. And tell me about the importance for you of your impact there and your mission. JW: I first got hired…this is another function of age, and again, the journey of continuing to know your worth, right? When I went into

Photo by Yumi Matsuo

that interview with Cosmo, I was very self assured and very aware of who I am, what I bring to the table. I never was like that in interviews before. It was always like, what do they want? What do they want to hear? Like, how do you want me to fit into this box? And I’m telling you every year that has gone by, I’ve been more like, this is who I am. I literally remember saying this to Jess Pels, in that interview. I was like, “I am a Black woman, but my superpower is the fact that I tell stories from that lens. And that I can know about everyone’s beauty, too.” Because I’ve had to know about everyone’s beauty. My white counterparts have not had to learn about me, they can be like, oh, that’s a Black girl thing. I have to write about me, I have to write about you, I have to write about our Asian brothers and sisters. I’m a true expert in this thing. And the fact that I tell stories through my lens, a lot of my story ideas and the things I want to talk about are Black, Black, blackity, Black. And I can’t hide that. And in fact, I don’t want to, I actually want it to be celebrated. So if you are down for that, and that is something that you see in Cosmo’s future, then I’m your girl. If it’s not, no hard feelings. But that is the space I need to live in, and if that is not something you’re down for, I will not take it personally, but this partner-

ship won’t work out. And she was just like, “No, I love this!” And speaking to your light dimmer thing, Cris, I hand to God, I literally said to her in the interview, I was like, “I’ve worked for a lot of light dimmers. That’s my question to you, how do you interact with your talent and your leaders on staff? Are you someone that uplifts them and pushes them to greater things? Are you happy when you have stars on your team?” I was like, “I’m the type of manager that I want stars. It only makes me look better. I’m not here to dim people’s lights, I’m here to make them better.” We literally had this conversation. And she was like, “No, I love that. I’m not a light dimmer. I want everyone to be great.” And she’s proven that to me, she has pushed me in every way and has allowed me space and grace to be me, so I’m so grateful for that. I wrote a whole story about how Black women interact with beauty and how the world should take note. I’ve written about headscarves and bonnets. CP: So what’s next for you? JW: A few months ago, I got a new job. I am now the executive director of BeautyUnited. My part-time job is being editor-at-large at Cosmo. I am very grateful for that. Cosmo made a way that I could stay but also run this non-profit. So

the future is full and exciting! I get to still be an editor, I get to run a non-profit that I really, truly believe in. I have the freedom now to say, yes, no, maybe. Every day offers a new opportunity that I get to either say yes to and dream around, or say no, that’s not right for me right now. And even that feels magical. CP: What’s your advice to someone who may be struggling with impostor syndrome and knowing their worth? JW: Surround yourself with people that do know your worth and will constantly tell you in a real authentic way like, you can share your woes and your wells with them. And they will tell you the truth, they will be the battery in your back. They will tell you you’re being silly. Or they’ll tell you that, no, you’re right. Just a village of people that remind you of who you are. Whether that is a difficult conversation or a celebratory conversation. Also, don’t beat yourself up, don’t take yourself too seriously. And every year, know you’re going to get closer and closer to the ultimate you. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. To read the full version, please visit us online at Newyorkfamily.com.

November/December 2022 | Long Island Family


calendar By Shara Levine

Visit “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” starting Nov. 18 in Westbury.

Nassau Winter Lantern Festival’s Drive-Thru Adventure WHEN: Nov. 3 - Jan. 15, Thursdays-Sundays, 5-9pm WHERE: Nassau County Museum of Art, 1 Museum Drive, Roslyn Harbor AGES: All WHAT: Drive-thru an immersive display of lights, with lit tunnels and handmade Chinese lanterns inspired by space! WANT TO GO?: $55 per car. winterlanternfestival.com

Willy Wonka WHEN: Nov. 11 -13, Friday and Saturday, 11am; Sunday, 12pm WHERE: The Showplace at The


Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Ave, Bellmore AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Everyone’s favorite candy man lights up the stage in this scrumdidilyumptious musical featuring the enchanting songs from the film starring Gene Wilder! WANT TO GO?: $15. 516-5996870, plazatheatrical.com

Disney On Ice presents Frozen & Encanto WHEN: Nov. 16 -20, Wednesday and Thursday, 7pm; Friday, 11am and 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11am, 3pm, and 7pm WHERE: UBS Arena, 2400 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont AGES: All

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

WHAT: See Anna, Elsa, Mirabel, and the Madrigal family live, as well as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald, Goofy, and many more dazzle and amaze on the ice! WANT TO GO?: $25-$50, disneyonice.com

Owl Prowl at SMLI Family Workshop WHEN: Friday, Nov. 18, 7-9pm WHERE: Science Museum of Long Island, 1526 N Plandome Road, Manhasset AGES: All WHAT: Learn about Long Island’s native owls, dissect owl pellets to discover what they eat, then search for them on the preserve. WANT TO GO?: $20; $15

members. 516-627-9400, smli. org

Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience Long Island WHEN: Nov. 18 - Jan. 8, Tuesdays-Thursdays and Sundays, 10am-8pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 10am-9pm; Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, NYE, 10am-5pm WHERE: Samanea New York, 1500 Old Country Road, Westbury AGES: All WHAT: Walk through more than 300 of the greatest works of artist Vincent Van Gogh including classics like “The Starry Night,” “Sunflowers,” and “Café Terrace at Night,”

November and more. WANT TO GO?: $29.99$89.99. 800-441-0819, vangoghlongisland.com

Rolling River Day Camp Turkey Trot WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 19, 1pm WHERE: Rolling River Day Camp, 477 Ocean Ave., East Rockaway/Oceanside AGES: 3 and older WHAT: Come out for family race-themed activities, Thanksgiving crafts projects, playground time and a snack “feast” bar. WANT TO GO?: $25 child; $10 adult. 516-593-2267, rollingriver.com

Suffolk Jumperoo WHEN: Oct. 4- Dec. 27, Tuesdays, 10am-1pm WHERE: Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park Lake Grove, 3147 Middle Country Rd, Lake Grove AGES: 2-5 WHAT: Little ones will have the place to themselves to take on the Climbing Hill, Battle Beam, Warrior Course, giant LEGO building block area, trampolines and more. WANT TO GO?: $14.99 per child. 631-861-4125. urbanair. com

Sugar Skull! A Dia De Los Muertos Musical Adventure WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 6, 2pm WHERE: Patchogue Theatre for


the Performing Arts, 71 E. Main St., Patchogue AGES: All WHAT: This joyous, heartfelt adventure delves into the rich, tuneful traditions of Día de los Muertos. WANT TO GO?: $25-$55. 631207-1313. patchoguetheatre.org

Veteran’s Day Flag Ceremony WHEN: Friday, Nov. 11, 11am WHERE: Montauk Playhouse Community Center, 240 Edgemere Street, Montauk AGES: All WHAT: Honor our Veterans with a flag raising ceremony and wreath laying. WANT TO GO?: 631-668-1124. montaukplayhouse.org

Barnaby Saves Christmas WHEN: Nov. 19 - Dec. 30 , Saturdays, 11am; 12/28-12/30, 11am WHERE: Theatre Three, 412 Main Street, Port Jefferson AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Come join Santa, Barnaby, Franklynne and all of their friends set off on their journey to save Christmas, they meet some new friends along the way and learn the true meaning of Christmas, Hanukah, and the holiday season. WANT TO GO?: $10. 631-9289100. theatrethree.com/child_ theatre.html#bsc.

Disney On Ice comes to UBS Arena fon Nov. 18.

Girl Scouts of Suffolk County’s Enchanted Forest

WHERE: Southaven County Park, Gerard Road, Yaphank AGES: All WHAT: Walk along 200ft of sparkling displays complete with music, games, hot cocoa, and a heated tent where you can grab a photo with Santa. WANT TO GO?: $10 in advance; $15 at the door, gssc.us/en/ event/holidaylightshow.html

WHEN: Nov. 26 - Dec. 30, Saturdays and Sundays

Colonial Games WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 27, 1:303pm WHERE: Connetquot River State Park, 3525 Sunrise Hwy., Oakdale AGES: 8 and older WHAT: Take a journey to the past and visit Colonial America and test your coordination and skills through fun games. WANT TO GO?: $4. 631-5811072, parks.ny.gov

NYC Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Urban Air in Lake Grove offers Jumperoo for little ones on Tuesdays.

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 24, 9am-12pm

WHERE: Macy’s Herald Square, 151 W. 34th Street, Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Kick off the holiday season with this New York tradition featuring giant balloons, elaborate floats, and lots of entertainment. WANT TO GO?: macys.com/ social/parade

Holiday Train Show WHEN: Nov. 19 - Jan. 16, Tuesdays-Sundays and Monday federal holidays, 10am-6pm WHERE: The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx AGES: All WHAT: See model trains zip through an enchanting display of more than 190 replicas of New York landmarks, each delightfully re-created from natural materials such as birch bark, lotus pods, and cinnamon sticks. WANT TO GO?: $35; $31 seniors 65 and older and students with valid ID; $20 ages 2-12; free admission for children younger than 2. 718817-8700, nybg.org

November/December 2022 | Long Island Family


Family day out

Illuminate the Farm Head to Queens County Farm Museum for shiny family fun By Shara Levine


ring the family out for a magical night they won’t forget when the Queens County Farm Museum will once again be transformed into a wonderland of light! Beginning November 11th, the Farm will become an immersive experience that will leave you mesmerized by illuminated displays inspired by theme parks, Chinese myths and legends, along with illuminated Chinese lanterns crafted by over one hundred artists. Created by Kaleido Arts & Entertainment Group, the NYC Winter Lantern Festival, with three locations across the New York metro area, will feature over 10,000 LED Chinese-inspired artisan lanterns. “Lantern festivals have been a part of Chinese culture and history for thousands of years, honoring our ancestors and celebrating peace, prosperity, and good fortune,” said Haokun Liu, Partner of Kaleido Arts & Entertainment Group. “We are thrilled to bring back the NYC Winter Lantern Festival now its fourth year, expand to new locations, introduce all visitors to the beauty of these artisan installations, and have the show become part of New York’s cultural holiday tradition.” Take your time wandering through stunning illuminated tunnels, reach for the stars on illuminated swings, and take in the sights while also capturing memories with Insta-worthy photo ops. We think that this can be the start (or continuation) of a beautiful holiday tradition. What You Need To Know When? The festival runs November 11, 2022 through January 8, 2023. Visitors can attend Fridays-Sundays from 5-9pm, with additional daily hours from December 26-29. Where? The festival is located at Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway in Floral Park. How Much Are Tickets? $26.99 plus tax


for adults and $17.99 plus tax for kids. Visit their website to purchase tickets and use code EARLYP now through November 11 for 30% off.

NewYorkFamily.com | November/December 2022

For information, and to learn more about additional locations like the one on Staten Island, visit nycwinterlanternfestival.com or follow the festival on Facebook or Instagram.


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