Westchester Family - March 2023

Page 1

Pivoting with Bethany Braun-Silva Sharing mom stories on her new podcast while keeping her day job as a writer and parenting expert Starting the Camp SearCh +Camp LiStingS aSD parents: Legoland New York is now a Certified Autism Center WestchesterFamily.com
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March 2023 | Westchester Family 3 100 Overlook Circle, New Rochelle, NY 10804 Thornton-Donovan School Individually Focused, Globally Engaged Co-Ed • Grades K-12 Thornton-Donovan will Embark on Travel for 2022-23: Rome, Israel, & Jordan
4 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023 M A r C h 2023 WestchesterFamily.com contents F eat U re S 8 | h ealth The American Academy of Pediatrics new treatment guidelines for childhood obesity 22 | s pecial Needs Legoland New York is now a Certified Autism Center 34 | cover: Bethany Braun-s ilva Sharing mom stories in her new podcast while keeping her day job as a writer and parenting expert Fami Ly FU n 36 | c alendar All the fun events and activities for March StorieS & Co LUmn S 6 | editor’s letter 12 | c amps How to begin the camp search 14 | c amps What parents should look for during a camp tour 24 | h ealth Gas stoves and the potential health risks 26 | Family Day o ut Family-friendly trails to enjoy in late winter and early spring 28 | local s potlight Meet Karri Bowen-Poole: Founder of Smart Playrooms, which brings “educational design” to Westchester children 30 | a sk the e xpert Baby eczema and what parents need to know 32 | Family Day o ut Go wild at the Newark Museum of Art 38 | editor’s Picks Books we love Dire C torie S 18 | c amp listings o N the cover Photo: Michelle Rose Photo | michellerosephoto.com Hair & Makeup: RobbieMinjarez.com Cover Story Written and Produced by: Donna Duarte- Ladd Styled by: Danielle Schiebel | saluteyourstyle.com pg. 34 pg. 28 pg. 32 pg. 36 pg. 26
March 2023 | Westchester Family 5 Mamaroneck Beach + Yacht Club The Art of Living Since 1885 555 S Barry Ave., Mamaroneck, NY 10543 www.mamaroneckbeachandyacht.com 914.698.1130

Tip-toeing into Spring

March is always that in-between month. We head into Spring, and while we haven’t had a traditional winter (snow, where are you?), it is exciting to see the seasonal changes.

With the promise of warmer months, camp may be on your radar. Check out What Parents Should Look for During a Camp Tour (page 14), and of course, check out our camp listings (page 18).

If you are a parent with a child with ASD or who is sensory sensitive, you will be happy to hear that starting March 31st, Legoland NY (page 22) is now a Certified Autism Center.

This is a BIG deal, and we are delighted to share this news.

Lastly, this month’s cover mom is parenting expert Bethany Braun-Silva. This born and bred New Yorker (page 34) follows her dream by chatting with parenting experts and celeb moms on her new podcast “The Breakdown with Bethany” while keeping her day job as a writer and shares her advice on how you can pivot towards something that matters to you!

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6 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023 editor’s note Share your feedback and ideas about family life in New York! Email us at editorial@newyorkfamily.com and tag us at #newyorkfamily get in touch
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. ©2023 Queens Family Media, LLC
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March 2023 | Westchester Family 7 Charter School of Educational Excellence LAPTOPS FOR ALL STUDENTS FROM ТНЕ WESTCHESTER, ROCKLAND AND BRONX COUNTIES CharterSchoolOfEducationalExcellence.org 914-476-5070 Ext. 4 NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Do you want an excellent education for your child? Apply Today to the Charter School of Educational Excellence ALL Students Welcome

New Guidelines for Childhood Obesity

The American Academy of Pediatrics releases its the first comprehensive update in 15 years

As the body positivity movement continues to trend, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently announced new treatment guidelines for childhood obesity that includes early use of medications and weight-loss surgery.

In recent years, body positivity has grown in popularity. Plus-size models grace the covers of major fashion magazines and shopping sites. Artists write songs about defying the stereotypical “model” body. And strangers argue on social media about what it means to be “fat.” But the new AAP guidelines seem to serve as a reminder that being very overweight can—in fact—be very dangerous.

This is the first comprehensive update to the AAP’s obesity treatment guidance in 15 years. Published in the journal, Pediatrics, a major highlight includes recommendations on medical care for kids as young as 2 and

through the teen years who struggle with obesity.

“The goal is to help patients make changes in lifestyle, behaviors or environment in a way that is sustainable and involves families in decision-making at every step of the way,” Sandra Hassink, M.D., an author of the guidance and vice chair of the Clinical Practice Guideline Subcommittee on Obesity, said.

While treatment includes extreme measures such as pharmaceuticals and bariatric surgery, it does not eliminate the need to focus on good nutrition and exercise as well. In fact, a bulk of the guidelines discuss treatment that includes nutritional support, physical activity treatment and behavioral therapy.

According to the AAP, intensive health behavior and lifestyle treatment (IHBLT) is the most effective known behavioral treatment for child obesity. It requires 26 or more hours of face-to-face, family-based

multicomponent treatment over a 3- to 12-month period.

“Lifestyle changes are hard- it’s so hard. Patients, families and children need much more in the way of support than just ‘don’t drink soda’ or ‘don’t eat fast food.’ The recommended lifestyle treatment in the guidelines is a really comprehensive, familybased intensive treatment,” explained Sarah Armstrong, M.D., FAAP, chair of the section on obesity at the AAP, and professor of pediatrics at Duke University.

Medication and surgery—to be done in addition to lifestyle treatment— is an option for some children who are older and teenagers who’ve developed severe degrees of obesity.

“We’re very fortunate to have some additional options, including medications and surgery where there is evidence of them being safe and effective,” Armstrong said. “It doesn’t mean everyone has to be on medication or get surgery. It means that

8 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023

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parents, children and doctors have choices.”

Stressed throughout the guidance is the need to intervene early.

“There is no evidence that ‘watchful waiting’ or delayed treatment is appropriate for children with obesity,” Hassink said.

The new guidelines do not discuss obesity prevention. According to the AAP, this will be addressed in another forthcoming AAP policy statement.

Treatment Guidelines for Childhood Obesity

Weight and obesity can be controversial topics. But one thing clear to most is the increased health risks that are associated with obesity. The AAP refers to obesity as a disease that could lead to short- and longterm health concerns when left untreated, including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Headlines and research throughout the COVID-19 pandemic showed that many of those who died from the virus were obese.

One thing to note is that the guidelines are geared toward doctors, not necessarily parents.

According to the AAP, doctors should offer adolescents ages 12 and older weight-loss drugs to treat their obesity. The fancy phrase for this is “weight-loss pharmacotherapy,” and it should be done in combination with health behavior and lifestyle treatment.

Teens ages 13 and older with severe childhood obesity should be evaluated for metabolic and bariatric surgery, the AAP adds.

More than 14.4 million U.S. kids live with obesity. And it isn’t easy—mentally or physically. The AAP noted that obesity is a disease that has been stigmatized for years, and it can be treated successfully with the recognition that complex genetic, physiologic, socioeconomic and environmental factors are at play.

“Weight is a sensitive topic for most of us, and children and teens are especially aware of the harsh and unfair stigma that comes with being affected by it,” said Sarah Hampl, M.D., a lead author of the guideline, which was created by a multidisciplinary group of experts in various fields, along with primary care providers and a family representative.

Diet and Exercise: Is it Still Important?

Yes. None of these new treatment guidelines for childhood obesity eliminate the need for

proper diet and exercise. These are healthy habits that are important for all people, regardless of their weight. Dr. Bridget Cole Williams, board-certified family physician and CEO of Green Harvest Health, says that offering weight-loss surgery and drugs to children who are obese serves as a huge “red flag” on how serious the issue is.

“We’re so careful with our kids in the first place. We don’t even want our kids on any medication, let alone medication and surgery for obesity,” Williams said. “However, I think it is a humongous red flag for how bad the obesity epidemic is in our country.”

Williams underscored the need to start obesity treatment early in kids.

“We have to start earlier, and we have to start younger,” she said. “Inevitably, if we do not do something, our children with the rate of sleep apnea, asthma, bone and joint issues, as well as heart disease and diabetes, will continue to grow astronomically.”

Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 85th percentile and below the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex. Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex.

Access to Nutritious Food and Opportunities for Physical Activity

As noted in the guidelines, it’s important to consider a family’s access to nutritious food and other necessities that help keep people healthy. The guidelines discuss increased risks for children with special health-care needs, as well as inequities that promote obesity in childhood, such as the marketing

of unhealthy food, low socioeconomic status and household food insecurity.

“Research tells us that we need to take a close look at families—where they live, their access to nutritious food, health care and opportunities for physical activity—as well as other factors that are associated with health, quality-of- life outcomes and risks,” explained Hampl. “Our kids need the medical support, understanding and resources we can provide within a treatment plan that involves the whole family,” Hampl said.

Additional Information on Childhood Obesity

Williams added a cultural and societal shift needs to happen in order to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.

“There are foods that are in the American diet that are not even allowed in other countries because of how fattening or toxic some of them are,” she said. “We need to change how our grocery stores look and have better access to nutritious food in lower income neighborhoods.”

Taking on these changes sound like a major feat, but Williams says it starts with the individual making simple changes. Parents can ask for half their families’ meals in a carry-out box when they eat at restaurants, spend more time shopping around the perimeter of grocery stores where the fresh foods are shelved and put less fattening foods on dinner plates.

Abrie McCoy, a certified lactation counselor with SimpliFed, a maternal and baby feeding health platform, recommends making nutrition a priority during pregnancy, too.

“Your child’s nutrition starts during gestation. In pregnancy, your body provides nutrients via the placenta and amniotic fluid, which is derived from the foods that you fuel your body with, McCoy explained.

Preventing overfeeding at the infant age is important, too.

“Using methods such as responsive feeding, infant led feeding, or paced feeding can help keep babies in control of a feed,” McCoy said. “This supports them learning to eat when hungry or thirsty and stopping when they are full. In turn, avoiding overfeeding at an early age.”

To learn more about childhood obesity, visit the AAP’s website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.To learn more about childhood obesity, visit the AAP’s website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

10 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023
“The goal is to help patients make changes in lifestyle, behaviors or environment in a way that is sustainable and involves families in decision-making at every step of the way.”



Open House

March 10, 2023 @ 3pm

April 22, 2023 @ 10am

(for Pre-K and K)

Open a world of opportunities to your child with a bilingual education in English and German at GISNY. Our independent Pre-K through Grade 12 college preparatory program with an emphasis on the sciences and arts cultivates students to develop into curious, analytical, and conscientious global citizens.

We offer Pre-K and Kindergarten children a bright, spacious and nurturing environment and a nature-based early childhood education program where most of the school day is spent outdoors on our beautiful 20-acre campus.

Children entering Pre-K or Kindergarten are not required to speak or understand German and build the foundation for being bilingual by first grade.

All nationalities are welcome!

cognitive growth and positions them for long-term academic success.

March 2023 | Westchester Family 11
GERMAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL NEW YORK WWW.GISNY.ORG | admissions@gisny.org | 50 Partridge Rd, White Plains, NY 10605 | (914) 948-6513
914.636.6202 www.hudsoncountry.org SCHEDULE A PRIVATE TOUR TODAY!
Our 50th Anniversary!

How to Begin the Camp Search

Thinking about summer camp for your child but don’t know where to start? Here are a few tips to help you find the best camp for your child.

Think of What You Want Out of the Experience

Take the time to really think about what you would like your child to gain from the camp experience. Are you looking for your child to gain independence, build confidence and make new friends or are you looking for that along with excelling at a specific sport? Are you considering day camp as a working family and need full day care? Is there a specific “must have” activity or feature you need the camp to have? Write down a list of things you want your child to get out of the experience and what the “must have” things are to help you narrow down the options.

Consider Who Your Child Is

Being able to describe who your child is will help you find the right camp for them. Is your child introverted or outgoing? Does your child have any special considerations? Do they thrive in large groups, or would a smaller camp be a better fit? Does your child enjoy participating in sports or do they prefer theater and art? Being able to answer these questions about your child will help you look for a camp that checks the boxes of what your child needs to thrive at camp.

Researching camps

There are many different ways to go about searching for a camp:

Word of mouth – It’s good to talk to friends and neighbors about where their children go to camp and to learn about their child’s camp experience, however, you want to make sure to do their own research when it comes to choosing a camp. While one camp might be a perfect fit for one child, it might not be for another. Each family and child are different, as is each camp, so finding the one that is the best fit for your child may be different than someone else.

Talk to the Camp Director /Leadership –

Whether this is in person or by zoom/phone , one of the most important parts of your camp research is to talk to the camp director or a member of the leadership team at a camp you are interested in. When you choose a camp, you are forming a partnership with the director and you want to make sure you feel comfortable with them. Clicking with the camp director and feeling that you can be open and honest with them is imperative when choosing a day or overnight camp.

Search online – Checking out a camp’s website and social media channels is a great place to start. See what type of activities are offered, if the session lengths match what you are looking for, and what the camp’s philosophy is.

Touring – One of the best ways to get a feel for a camp is to tour a camp you are interested in. Day camps offer tours all year long and overnight camps tour during the summer into the fall. Touring allows you to see the facilities and ask questions about the camp while in the camp environment. Touring during the summer allows you to see the camp in action, which can give you a good feel about how what the camp is like. If you are considering an overnight camp for 2024, set up a few tours at camps you are interested in. It’s helpful to have an initial conversation with the camp director before scheduling a tour to be sure the camp is potentially a good fit for your child before traveling to see a camp.

Camp Fairs – At camp fairs, families can

walk from table to table to find out about all the different summer camp options. The fairs allow families to talk to multiple camp directors all in one day to compare various camps and gather information. Find out about New York Family’s camp fairs taking place this winter in NYC, Long Island and Westchester at newyorkfamily. com/camp-fairs.

Camp Open Houses – Many day camps and overnight camps offer open houses in the spring and fall so families can have a chance to visit the camp. During the open house, the camp will offer activities and provide families with a chance to walk around camp. These days are fun ways to visit the camp and give you the opportunity to talk to the camp director and leadership team in the camp environment.

Call the American Camp Association, NY and NJ – The ACA, NY and NJ offers parents free, one-on-one advice in finding a camp. Whether you are looking for a day, overnight or specialty program, the American Camp Association, NY and NJ can help in your search! Contact Renee Flax at 212-391-5208 or renee@ acanynj.org.

While the process of searching for camps can often be overwhelming for parents, once you sit down and focus on who your child is and the type of camp experience you want, the choices begin to narrow, leaving you with a few camps to consider. Spending the time now to find the right camp will pay off when your child has the summer of their life at camp!

12 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023

for Fall 2023

for Fall 2023





Full Day / Half Day / 5 Day / 3 Day

Full Day / Half Day / 5 Day / 3 Day

Early Drop Off / Lunch Bunch / Extended Day

Early Drop Off / Lunch Bunch / Extended Day

465 Ridgeway - White Plains -914-949-3134


465 Ridgeway - White Plains -914-949-3134


We provide a stimulating learning experience for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners in an environment which fosters their intellectual, emotional and social readiness.


March 2023 | Westchester Family 13
register for the event or schedule a private tour contact admissions@bluerockschool.org or 845-535-3353
Independent K-8 School in West Nyack, NY www.bluerockschool.org
Session & Campus Tour
15 at 10am
Applications for Fall 2023 and our Forest Play Summer Program www.forestplaysummer.org
Where Learning Comes Alive!
Saturday, April
progressive approach to education, we have been fostering confident critical thinkers for over 30 years. Our hands-on curriculum nurtures children’s love of learning and prepares them for a changing world.
We provide a stimulating learning experience for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners in an environment which fosters their intellectual, emotional and social readiness. NURSERY
2'S, 3'S, 4'S & Kindergarten Programs
2'S, 3'S, 4'S & Kindergarten Programs

Camp Tours

What parents should look for

Thinking about summer camp for your child? One of the best ways to learn about a day or overnight camp is to tour the camp. Touring camps is an invaluable way to get to know a camp. Each camp has its own feel and touring the camp will give you a good sense of whether the camp is the best fit for your child and family.

Before you begin setting up tours, take the time to really think about what type of camp experience you are looking for. Doing your initial research will save you a lot of time and allows you to focus on what you really want in a camp. Ross Moskowitz, Owner and Director of Camp Westmont, a coed overnight camp in Wayne County, PA feels it’s imperative that parents figure out the type of camp they want for their child before touring overnight camps. “If you are looking for a traditional coed overnight camp, you should tour 3-4 traditional coed camps instead of seeing one coed camp, one singlesex camp and one brother-sister camp. This way, you are touring the exact types of camps you want, making it easier for you to narrow down the choices.”

Once you decide on the type of camp you are interested in, you can call the director and set up camp tours for the summer. Renee Flax, Camper Placement Specialist for the American Camp Association, NY and NJ advises parents not to tour too many camps in one day. “Seeing one camp in the morning and one in the afternoon is generally a good rule of thumb. Touring can be tiring for you and your child, and you also want to give yourself time to debrief between visiting the camps.”

Whether you are touring a day camp or an overnight camp, one of the most important aspects of the camp tour is relationship building. Genna Singer, Director of Camps, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan says, “The people who are doing the tours are the leadership staff or the owner/director and it’s important you feel connected with them. You want to know that you speak about children in the same way, that you can feel the energy of the leadership team and that

you understand how the camp is run. You are entrusting this person with your child, and you need to feel there is a connection and a trust with the leadership staff.”

Jason Mercado, Director of North Shore Day Camp in Glen Cove, NY says, “Seeing camp in action allows you to see the campers and what it would be like to have your own child there. You can also watch the directors interacting with the campers in real-time. Do the kids know them? Are the staff connected to them? When you tour, you notice things and are able to get the true feeling of the camp.” Mercado understands that not all families are able to visit over the summer and feels that fall open houses are another great time to see camp. “Our fall open houses coincide with the early bird rates we offer. These days are nice because we have the whole leadership team at camp so it’s more spirited than just touring on an off-season day and allows you to get to know the key staff members.”

All day and overnight camp do their tours differently. Some camps tour the whole family together while others, like Camp Westmont, do separate tours for the parents and the child. “We do camper only and parent only tours which allows each to have a meaningful experience. Both children and parents have their own specific set of questions and want to see different things at the camp. At the end, we meet up, go over

the highlights and ask if the camper has any questions which feels empowering, like they are being heard,” explains Moskowitz. While Moskowitz feels a child’s input is paramount to the camp decision, parents will want to give them choice within the camps they are feeling are the right fit. “If you are touring camps A, B and C but there is something you don’t like about camp C, you can say to your child that they can choose between camps A and B, but the ultimate say has to be the parents.”

It’s important to ask questions while on the tour and in the camp environment. “Find out about their policies, what they consider to be a successful summer for a camper and how they hire staff. All of these questions will help you understand whether or not you agree with the camp’s philosophy,” says Flax. “If your child has a specific special consideration like a food allergy or anxiety, the tour is a good time to ask how they handle these things.”

After you complete your camp tours, take the time to review all the camps and everything they offer. Some families say they just get a gut feeling after touring a camp. Others will have follow-up questions and should call the director to have another conversation. In the end, only you know your family and child best and will be able to make the final decision on your child’s summer home.

14 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023

Full & Half Day Camp

Boys & Girls

Ages 4–13

Sign up for one week, multiple weeks or all 8 weeks!

Gymnastics • Games & Events

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NEW THIS YEAR: Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course



“We specialize in beginners.”

Our program emphasizes skill progression and safety through basic drills and apparatus training. Boys and girls will make use of all Olympic events, such as floor, uneven bars, balance beams, and vault as well as our in ground trampoline, Tumbl-Trak®, cargo net, parallel bars, rings and rope.

March 2023 | Westchester Family 15 At Equalize Fitness GymCats Gymnastics & Birthday Party Center One Odell Plaza, Yonkers (Exit 9 off Saw Mill River Pkwy) 914-965-7676 • info@gymcats.net
www.GymCats.net SUMMER CAMP
REGISTER TODAY! R E G I S T E R T O D A Y ! www.PurchaseDayCamp.com w w w . P u r c h a s e D a y C a m p . c o m Call (914)-949-2636 C a l l ( 9 1 4 ) - 9 4 9 - 2 6 3 6 PURCHASE DAY CAMP P U R C H A S E D A Y C A M P Ages 3 - 15 A g e s 3 - 1 5 Hot and Cold Lunch Program H o t a n d C o l d L u n c h P r o g r a m Bus Transportation Available B u s T r a n s p o r t a t i o n A v a i l a b l e Swimming Daily w/Towel Service S w i m m i n g D a i l y w / T o w e l S e r v i c e Come see why so many say C o m e s e e w h y s o m a n y s a y 'I Just Love It Here!' ' I J u s t L o v e I t H e r e ! ' Broad Based Programming B r o a d B a s e d P r o g r a m m i n g Flexible Enrollment Options F l e x i b l e E n r o l l m e n t O p t i o n s

acres of adventure

s ummer c amp @ a nn & andy’s

2170 Saw Mill River Road, Elmsford


annandandychildcare.com/ summer-camp

Acres of Adventure Summer Camp at Ann & Andy’s is a one to nine-week summer camp with an emphasis on outdoors for children ages 3 months to 14 years. They offer customized schedules, individualized attention and hot lunches including barbeque Fridays. All buildings are air-conditioned. Visit the website for more details. Call for open house dates. Tours by appointment only.

Boston leadership i nstitute

396 Washington Street Suite 117 Wellesley, MA 02481

info@ bostonleadershipinstitute.com bostonleadershipinstitute.com

BLI offers award-winning programs in Medicine, Engineering, Science, and

Business in Wellesley, Waltham, and Boston. Three-week research programs include Biomedical & Surgical Research, Astrophysics,Finance, Electronics & Robotics, and more. One-week options, available for middle and high school students, include Intro to Surgery, Forensics, Architecture, and Investment Banking. These are for students who would like to try out areas of STEM that they don’t often see in school. Day and residential options are available for all programs.

c amp Pinebrook / Pinebrook s ummer a rts 1000 Pinebrook Boulevard, New Rochelle, NY 10804 914813-8700

allison@camppinebrook.com CampPinebrook.com

Pinebrook Summer Arts Camp (PSA) is designed for 5th-9th grade campers who want to enjoy a wide variety of arts programming every day, the premier program in Lower Westchester.

PSA is for kids who love the camp culture, but who want to participate in arts programming all day long. Accomplished and wellknown local professional staff of teaching artists will lead classes in the areas of Fine Arts and Theatre. First session begins: June 26th.

challenge c amp Iona University

715 North Avenue New Rochelle, NY 10801 914-779-6024

info@challengecamps.com challengecamps.com

Challenge Camp is an ACAaccredited day camp at Iona University in New Rochelle, offering summer enrichment learning opportunities for creative children ages 4-15. Over 120 STEM & Arts project based electives to engage and inspire your camper. Sports and on-site Swimming options enable campers to challenge their minds and bodies.

chapel school s ummer Program

172 White Plains Road Bronxville NY 10708 914-337-3202

directorofsummercamps@ thechapelschool.org


The Chapel School Summer Program was safely open for Care Bears (ages 3-6) and Explorers (ages 7-12) in 2020, 2021 and 2022, with record numbers of children experiencing fun and enrichment in a safe and nurturing environment! They are excited to be Back & Better in 2023! Online registration is LIVE.

cold s pring h arbor

l aboratory DNA Learning Center

One Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 516-367-5170



Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center (DNALC) provides biology-focused lab

16 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023 C amp S Dire C tory | Special Advertising Supplement
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March 2023 | Westchester Family 17 Boston Leadership Institute Award-Winning Summer STEM Programs for Teens Science | Business | Engineering | Medicine Continuing Education SUMMER 2023 SERIOUS FOUNDATION. SERIOUS FUN. Youth & Precollege Programs in the Arts Grades 5–12 1, 2, & 4 Week Programs June 26–August 4 Acting, Creative Writing, Filmmaking, Improv, Musical Theatre, Photography, Singing, Songwriting, Visual Arts Save the Date: Open House is Saturday, April 15, 10am - 12 noon Register by May 5 to receive Early Registration Discount www.purchase.edu/youth

enrichment programs to students entering grades 6-12. Week-long in-person science camps are held at three locations: at the Dolan DNALC in Cold Spring Harbor, the DNALC NYC @ City Tech in Brooklyn, and the Regeneron DNALC in Sleepy Hollow. Led by experienced instructors, campers learn to use sophisticated laboratory and computer equipment to perform advanced experiments grade levels beyond their peers. Scholarships are available!

crestwood m usic education center

870 Scarsdale Ave, Scarsdale 914-961-3497



Located in downtown Scarsdale. For over 35 years, CMEC has offered private lessons in piano, guitar, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass, drums and percussion instruments for students of all ages and levels. This worldclass faculty will be providing

a premier music education experience! CMEC has one of the most comprehensive chamber music and orchestral programs in the tri-state area as well as their well-renowned Suzuki and Jazz/Rock programs.

gym c ats gymnastics

At Equalize Fitness

1 Odell Plaza, Yonkers 914-965-7676


GymCats Gymnastics

summer camp offers quality instruction for beginners through advanced gymnastics in a fully air conditioned facility that teaches gymnastics all year long! The camp offers individualized instruction, all campers are grouped by age, and no experience is necessary; we specialize in teaching beginners! You can choose half day or full day and sign up for one week, multiple weeks or all 8 weeks. NEW THIS YEAR- NINJA WARRIOR OBSTACLE COURSE! Space is limited, register online.

h udson country m ontessori

s ummer c amp

340 Quaker Ridge Road

New Rochelle, NY 10804 914-636-6202



Hudson Country’s camp is an eight-week program

(June 26 -August 18) for ages 18 months – 12 years. With themed weekly schedules, campers engage in indoor/ outdoor activities while learning and having fun. Activities include daily swim instruction (on-premise pool), sports, hands-on science, technology, art, field trips, music, dance and more. Flexible scheduling, full & halfday sessions and extended hours 7:30am-6:00pm available.

Destination science

Iona College - Bronxville Campus

171 White Plains Road Bronxville, NY 10708 destinationscience.org/ new-york-science-camps/ westchester-county/



For 23 years Destination Science has been science camp for kids 5-11! This summer, become a robot engineer, explore coaster science, create a biobot and join the DS space force! Participate in 15 STEM activities weekly, make & take projects, three science stations per day, plus games, challenges, silly songs and all the fun of camp! KIDS

EXCITED ABOUT SCIENCE and BUILDS GREAT LIFE SKILLS including Curiosity, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Cooperation, Persistence and more! Enroll by April 1st to save $40/week!

Jimmy vejar s ummer Fun in r ye Brook 914-937-3800 ext. 724 maria.taveras@cpwestchester. org


Jimmy Vejar Summer Fun in Rye Brook returns this summer! Hosted at the beautiful David G. Osterer Center, they

18 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023 C amp S Dire C tory | Special Advertising Supplement
BEST SUMMER EVER! RYE Y CAMPS Register now at ryeycamp.org Ages 2-14: Kinder, Discovery, STEAM Sports, Adventure & Gymnastics Camps

Discover Your Inner Champion Discover Your Inner Champion


Former Home of ‘12 & ‘16 Olympian JOHN OROZCO!

Former Home of ‘12 & ‘16 Olympian JOHN OROZCO!

Whether you are a beginner or experienced gymnast, an infant or a teenager, there is a class for you at World �up �ymnas�cs�

Whether you are a beginner or experienced gymnast, an infant or a teenager, there is a class for you at World �up �ymnas�cs�

preschool gymnastics, recreational gymnastics and competitive teams

preschool gymnastics, recreational gymnastics and competitive teams

Call 914 Call 914--238 238--4967 4967 or register online at �orl����gymnas��s.�om �orl����gymnas��s.�om

Call 914 Call 914--238 238--4967 4967 or register online at ���l��������a�������� ���l��������a��������

170 Joan Corwin Way · Chappaqua · NY 10514

170 Joan Corwin Way · Chappaqua · NY 10514

Primary (Grades K-3)

All Sports (Grades 1-9)

Choice (Grades 4-9)


Stimulating Courses Like:

• Swimming

• Robotics

• Project Runway

• Digital Photography

• International Cooking

• Baseball

• Soccer

• Grand Prix Racers

• & Much More!

March 2023 | Westchester Family 19 CLONING GENETICS BIOTECHNOLOGY DNA ODING FORENSICS summercamps.dnalc.org CAMPS DNA LEARNING CENTER SCIENCE B I OINFORMATICS D A T A SCIENCE GET HANDS-ON WITH SCIENCE THIS SUMMER! • Entering grades 6–12 • Westchester, Brooklyn, & Long Island • Week-long day camps • Authentic lab experiences • Real-world applications • Dynamic instructors • Knowledge and skills for the classroom and beyond! ENROLL TODAY! On the web: SCAN ME! SCAN FOR WEBSITE
“This “This year... year... I’m going I’m going to be strong!” to be strong!”
Transportation & Extended Day • Hot Lunch included Squirecamp S .com • 914-328-3798 award winner 2017 inspectors choice! Maria regina hs, hartsdale
celebrating 50 Years!

provide a summer program for children and teens with all abilities, ages 5 - 21. From June 26 to August 25, campers will enjoy an enriching summer experience filled with fun activities like swimming, field trips, and more! Those with OPWDD eligibility are welcome. Sign up for the mailing list to be first in line for registration.

m amaroneck Beach + yacht club

555 S Barry Avenue Mamaroneck, New York 10543. 914-698-1130


Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club is a private membership club with unparalleled service. A world where relaxed elegance meets a new world luxury lifestyle; a place where you and your family will create cherished summer memories. Exceptional service, attention to detail, the warmth of their staff and unmistakable style will make MBYC a recognized icon and a beloved destination by its members.

m ini c amp at Purchase Day

c amp

3095 Purchase Street, Purchase 914-949-2636


Get your preschooler off to an early start this summer at Purchase Day Camp Mini Camp! Designed especially for our littlest campers, Mini Camp is for 3’s, 4’s and children entering kindergarten, during the first 3 weeks of June. With flexible enrollment, register for 1, 2, or all 3 weeks, discounts available for enrolled Purchase Day Camp families. Campers will enjoy swimming, sports, science, art, cooking, Friday pizza lunches, and more. Come join the fun!

m osholu Day c amp

261 Arden Valley Road Southfields, NY 10975 845-243-0751 mmcc.org/camp

For 80 years, Mosholu Day Camp has been providing affordable quality camping to children ages 5-15 from

all over the area. Sitting on beautiful Lake Cohasset at Harriman State Park, we offer children a place to develop, experience, and enjoy nature, while taking part in unforgettable summer activities like swimming, boating, sports, music, arts, and everything else you’d come to expect from an awesome summer day camp! Buses with A/C, full 8-week summer, multi-week options.

oasis Dobbs Ferry


Andrew - 646-519-5057


An affordable premier day camp located on the beautiful Mercy College campus overlooking the Hudson. Children, ages 3 to 16, are invited to take part in activities centered around sports, the arts, nature, daily instructional and recreational swimming, and most importantly, socialemotional growth. Offering a variety of camp experiences, Oasis in Dobbs Ferry has

something for everyone! The traditional summer camp program includes children grades K-6, Teen Travel & Jr. Teen Travel programs, as well as an ESIC (Early Start ImaginationCamp) for the newest campers, ages 3-5.

Purchase Day c amp 3095 Purchase Street, Purchase 914-949-2636


Purchase Day Camp is the premiere Westchester summer day camp, offering a wide variety of broadbased programming with flexible enrollment for ages 3-15. 100 TEAM Members for 300 campers. Four heated pools with instructional swim following the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Course and free swim with towel service. Transportation available for surrounding towns and a lunch program. Come join the fun and see why so many say, ‘I Just Love It Here!’

20 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023 C amp S Dire C tory | Special Advertising Supplement
Westchester Family The Digital Edition Sign up for a free digital subscription at WestchesterFamily.com and we’ll send you an email when the new issue comes out! WESTCHESTERFAMILY.COM WESTCHESTERFAMILY.COM Hap�y Hal��we�n EVENTS FOR EVERY AGE! OUR PINK ISSUE Orthodontics Straight Talk About Straight Teeth Cell Phone Addiction YOUR CHILD IS AT RISK OUTSTANDING OCTOBER EVENTS +170 DestinationScience.org TheFun Science Day Camp ALL NEW 2023 CAMP THEMES! Rescue Robot Mystery Science Camp BioBot & Roller Coaster Camp Artemis Moon Mission Camp SAVE $40/wk ends 4/1 Iona University, Bronxville

r ye ymca c amps

914-967-6363, email: camp@ ryeymca.org


Camps for ages 2-14 include: Kinder, Discovery, STEAM, Sports, Gymnastics and Leaders in Training. New this year - Kinder Camp in Mamaroneck! Rye Y Camps are ACA accredited and led by a team of full-time professional directors. Our dedicated summer staff are selected for their strong character, maturity, enthusiasm and commitment to Y values and serve as Professional Role Models for our campers. (1:4 camper ratios for our youngest groups and up to 1:10 for our oldest campers) Extended care available. We adhere to safety guidelines to keep your children safe. Learn more and register at ryeycamp.org.

squire c amps

Maria Regina School, Hartsdale 914-328-3798


“Celebrating 50 Years!”

A camp for the child who wants it all. Winner of the Westchester County Inspector’s Choice Award! Campers customize their own schedule from over 50 different activities including photography, cooking, swimming, arts, robotics, sports and more. Campers may attend four, three or seven weeks. Hot lunch included. Transportation, extended day, and early drop off available. Activities are taught by certified teachers in air conditioned classrooms on a beautiful private centrally located campus.

steffi Nossen school of Dance

216 Central Ave., White Plains 914-328-1900


Preschool -College Summer Arts experiences. Explore the performing arts in a safe, nurturing and artistically challenging environment.

Pre-School Storybook Camps: book--based movement,

music, and art; K – Middle School Dance Camp/ Intensives combine a variety of dance styles with history and choreography; Musical Theater Camp/Intensive, for dancers, actors, and singers; Adaptive Dance Classes for kids and adults; Adult Adaptive Musical Theater Workshop; and Companies in Residence for auditioned high school and college dancers. Register now for a creative and enriching summer.

su N y – Purchase


youth.pre.college@purchase. edu


The Purchase College

Summer Youth & Precollege Programs in the Arts are so much more than camps! Immersed in a variety of exciting, fun, and enriching learning activities, students in grades 5-12 gain new skills and meet like-minded friends in acting, art, creative writing, improv, filmmaking, photography, vocals, and

songwriting. Choose from 1, 2, and 4 week in-person programs, Session 1 starts June 26th.

World cup gymnastics

s ummer c amp

170 Joan Corwin Way, Chappaqua



This fun summer camp for youths ages 5 to 12 combines superior gymnastics training with a traditional camp experience ensuring each camper has the best summer. Their state-of-the-art complex allows room to engage in tons of recreational activities and gymnastics. Each week there are exciting themed activities involving arts & crafts, cooking, skills training and more. World Cup provides a safe, nurturing environment where campers can be active, build strength, learn new skills, laugh, play, make new friends and build summer memories that last a lifetime.

March 2023 | Westchester Family 21
Mosholu Day Camp/MMCC Located at Lake Cohasset in Harriman State Park 261 Arden Valley Road, Southfields, NY 10975 CALL 845.243.0751 VISIT mosholudaycamp.com EMAIL mosholudaycamp@gmail.com MAKE MEMORIES! SUMMER 2023 JUN 26-AUG 17 8 WEEKS OF FUN! WEEKLY OPTIONS AVAILABLE! SAVE $175 FULL SUMMER Mention this ad. Offer ends 4/30/23 BUSES with A/C! Swimming, boating, sports, music, arts, and everything else you’d come to expect from an awesome summer day camp! Need a place to hang out this summer?

NY’s Legoland is now a Certified Autism Center

Starting with its opening of the new season Legoland New York will also be a Certified Autism Center. Ask any parent of a child diagnosed with ASD (Autism spectrum disorder) if going to a theme park is easy; most likely, every answer will differ. This is because, as a parent with a child with autism, sometimes going anywhere can be challenging. I should know, I have gone to several theme parks with my ASD son and I have been hit, slapped and bitten, for the park was too overwhelming for him. My son is quite sweet, but visiting a spot where loud noises are the norm, long lines part of the deal- can be quite stirring especially for a nonverbal or sensory-sensitive person. When even the most simple place does not consider that not all kids are the same, going to something grand like a theme park feels impossible.

There has been one exception- and this is Legoland. We have been to Legoland three times, and it has been the only theme park where my son is happy. A few months back, I learned that Legoland was in the process of becoming a Certified Autism Center. I may have cried, for I know that parents with kids with special needs want to try at least to give their kids the same experience as other kids

and to learn that the park would become even more equipped for my ASD child is a game changer for families. And now starting March 31st Legoland with be equipped to to give these kids and their families the support they need to enjoy their visit.

What you can expect on your next visit to Legoland

Being certified provides Legoland NY with the tools and support needed to thoughtfully engage with a neurodiverse population while understanding that kids play at a level that is known and comfortable to them. While all Legoland Resorts across North America will now be Certified Autism Centers by spring 2023 this is what you can expect at Legoland New York:

• No more having to explain why your child may do this or that; there will now be trained front-line team members educated and equipped to help autistic guests and sensory sensitive individuals.

• Pre-planning resources available for guests on the Parks’ websites.

• I once took my son on a ride and he was unable to push a button (he now can); he just sat there in his little ride while the other kids passed him by and my heart sank. At Legoland, you will find at every ride a posted sensory

guide (developed in partnership with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards) indicating whether there are bright lights, loud sounds, or any features that guests might need to plan around.

• Low sensory areas allow guests with certain sensitivities to take a break and relax in a less stimulating environment.

• Upon request, First Aid offers ear plugs to assist with sound and overstimulation and “Assisted Access Passes” can be requested at Guest Services.

What does it mean to be a Certified Autism Center?

According to their press statement Legoland NY received its certification from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. IBCCES works with many fields such as education, healthcare, entertainment and professionals to provide evidence-based training and certification programs created in conjunction with its board of clinical and subject matter experts and autistic individuals to give a better understanding of autism and other neurodivergencies. Simply put, they give people the tools to know how to understand people with ASD as well as people who may be challenged with neurodivergencies such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, epilepsy, hyperlexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and Tourette syndrome (TS).

Legoland New York Opens for the season March 31st and is located at 1 Legoland Blvd, Goshen, NY 10924.

22 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023
Special needS

Family Owned & Operated since 1973

Experienced Counselors

Serving children

2 months–14 years of age

Licensed by the Health Department

Age appropriate activities including: tween trips, bowling, swimming, golf, drama, sports, water slide, zip-line, climbing wall, arts & crafts, computers, air castle and more!

Call for a Tour and Appointment!

914-592-3027 • 2170 Saw Mill River Road, Elmsford, NY www.annandandychildcare.com

March 2023 | Westchester Family 23 We Merged with Life the Place to Be! Come visit us at our new place! 2 Lawrence Street • Ardsley sportimeusa.com • 914.592.2111! EXCITING NEW BIRTHDAY PACKAGES & ATTRACTIONS Come Visit Us At Our New Place! FUN FOR ALL AGES! ARCADE-BUMPER CARS LASER TAG-KIDDIE ZONE BATTING CAGES-SUPER FLY FREE FALL-ROCK CLIMBING and SO MUCH MORE SEEK WISDOM PRACTICE VIRTUE KEEP THE FAITH

Gas Stoves

Arecently published study has found that indoor gas stoves are linked to an increased risk of asthma in children, with around 12.7% of current childhood asthma cases in the United States being attributable to gas stove use.

Since the publication of this study, debates have sprung up, with some pledging their allegiances to gas stoves and others suggesting that they be phased out. There’s a lot of information swirling around, which can be hard to sift through if you’re a parent, especially one with a gas stove in your home currently.

Here’s what you need to know about gas stoves, how they can affect you and your family’s health and what you should do if you have a gas stove in your house.

What Makes Gas Stoves Potentially Harmful?

Because stoves burn natural gas, they create invisible by-products, one of the most concerning being nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually has regulations outdoor NO2 emissions and sets safe exposure limits, but there aren’t any similar regulations for indoor exposure.

In recent years, we’ve learned much more about the ways that exposure to NO2 can negatively affect our health. Long-term exposure to NO2 can increase a person’s chances of respiratory infections and asthma.

Gas stoves have a negative impact on the environment as well. Burning natural gas produces carbon dioxide. Unburned natural gas contains methane, and gas stoves have been found to leak unburned methane. Both carbon dioxide and methane are greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.

Are Gas Stoves Going To Be Banned?

Federally, there doesn’t seem to be a ban on gas stoves on the horizon. Alex Hoehn-Saric, Chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC), released a statement

clarifying that he is not looking to ban gas stoves.

Instead, the USCPSC is doing further research on the gas emissions from stoves and working on finding new ways to address the health risks.

In New York City, there’s already a ban on natural gas hook ups in new buildings going into effect at the end of this year.

City Council passed a bill in 2021 that will ban natural gas in new buildings under seven stories starting in 2024, and in 2027 for anything taller. However, this bill doesn’t affect buildings where gas is already installed.

I Have A Gas Stove. What Do I Do?

You don’t need to get rid of your gas stove. If you want to take some steps towards lowering health risks that could come from using a gas stove, here are some things you can consider doing:

Ventilate your kitchen when cooking. Turning a fan on won’t do much, since it’s just circulating the same air through the kitchen. But consider opening your windows while you cook or use exhaust fans that move air outside.

Use an air purifier with a high clean air delivery rate (CADR) to improve the air quality in your home

Look into using electric appliances where you can. While replacing a gas stove with an electric stove isn’t easy or even feasible for many, there are smaller changes you can make to limit how much you’re using gas. Use an electric kettle instead of boiling water on the stove top. Use appliances like electric slow cookers, toaster ovens, rice cookers or microwaves when possible.

There’s no need to rip your gas stove from the wall, but these small changes can make a difference in the health of you and your family.

24 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023
The potential health risks and what you need to know

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Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 5 p.m. ET

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Hiking Spots

Family-friendly trails to enjoy in late winter and early spring

Spring is (finally) in the air. Even though this winter has been mild, there’s something magical about the change of the season that makes it easier to explore and enjoy nature. Now that the weather is a little nicer, you can enjoy one of the many nature hikes in Westchester. Great for exercise, fresh air, and exploring, we’re sharing a collection of simple to adventurous hikes as well as some exciting spring programming (hello, maple sugaring!) that you and your family can enjoy. Happy exploring!

Cranberry Lake Preserve

West Harrison

Enjoy hiking on this 190-acre park. Designated as a Biodiversity reserve area, you and your family will enjoy the 19th-century farmhouse and early 20th-century stone-mining operation as well as a collection of plants and animals. Trails range from 1.1 miles to 2.4 miles where you can see ponds, live animals, and various plants. On the weekends, enjoy access to their Nature Center with many family-friendly nature programs as well as interactive, educational displays, and live animals. Note: restrooms are temporarily closed. Cranberry Lake Preserve, 1609 Old Orchard St, West Harrison, NY 10604.

Croton Gorge Park


Located at the base of the Croton Dam, you and your family will enjoy some spectacular views of the dam even before your hike starts! This 97-acre property encompasses many uphill and steady trails that’s also a great spot for your spring picnic. Croton Gorge Park, 35 Yorktown Road, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520



Teatown hosts many events all-year long, including the upcoming Winter Tree Walk with Environmental Art Educator, Caroline Erb. You can also hike and explore this 1,000-acre nature preserve on your own, which ranges from .8 miles to a challenging

6.5 miles. In March, enjoy Sugaring Days where families can learn how to identify and tap maple trees. Teatown, 1600 Spring Valley Road, Ossining, NY 10562.

Ward Pound Ridge

Pound Ridge

Enjoy a beautiful spring hike at the County’s largest park. Families can enjoy a combination of flat and hilly terrain, depending on the type of hike you are looking for. The area also has picnic areas and the nearby Trailside Museum for an educational and fun experience. Ward Pound Ridge, Route 35 and 121 South, Cross River, NY 10576.

Rockefeller State Park


This beautiful state park boasts many trails, including 45 miles of scenic paths – mainly designed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. This includes access to Swan Lake, wooded paths, stone bridges, Pocantico River, and more. Enjoy walking, jogging, and crosscountry skiing, as well as birding, hiking, and photography. Hiking in the late winter is especially enjoyable at this park where you can enjoy the budding of native flowers and trees as well as peonies, which will bloom in early May. Rockefeller State Park, 125 Phelps Way, Pleasantville, NY 10570

26 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023
FamilY daY out

Turkey Mountain Nature Preserve

Yorktown Heights

This trail boosts many options for a moderate to a challenging hike. Those up for a challenge should try the blue trail for the most stunning views on the top of the mountain. This picturesque moment is one of our favorites in Westchester! Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Rye Nature Center


Rye Nature Center offers many programs for kids and families, including Mommy & Me and Daddy and Me classes for kids ages 2-4 years old. They also have Vacation Camps, School’s Out Workshops, June Bugs program, and summer camp. For hiking, they have six trails as well as the Storybook Trail located behind the garden. Rye Nature Center, 873 Boston Post Road, Rye, NY 10580.

Greenburgh Nature Center


Enjoy some fun and interactive events at the Greenburgh Nature Center this winter/

spring. This includes Natural Connections in March and April where kids can explore creativity through nature, and a Maple Sugaring Party on March 5th. For hiking, you and your family can enjoy five marked trails that range from one-tenth of a mile to over one-half of a mile. Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Rd, Scarsdale, NY 10583.

Zofnass Family Preserve

Pound Ridge

Enjoy a day with your family hiking the largest of Westchester Land Trust’s preserves. Don’t forget your hiking boots as you take on its adventurous 7.5 miles of trails (there are shorter pathways as well). This preserve is also home to more than 400 plant species, which you might find budding during your winter/spring visit. You’ll also find rugged terrain, stepping stones for crossing streams and wetlands, a stone staircase, and more. Zofnass Family Preserve, 258 Upper Shad Road, Pound Ridge, NY 10576.

Muscoot Farm


While Muscoot is known as the go-to place to visit farm animals, the farm is also home to 777 acres of fields, woodlands, and wetlands. Every Wednesday, kids (ages 3-5) can enjoy a morning of crafts, stories, and animals from their Little Explorers program. They also have a fun Maple Munchies Cooking class for kids (over age six) who will learn how to make a maple treat and their annual Sugaring Off event on March 3rd in celebration of the end of the sugaring season. Muscoot Farm, Route 100, Somers, NY 10536.

Westmoreland Sanctuary

Mount Kisco

Enjoy access to 670 acres with 8.5 miles of interconnecting trails all-year long. Before you go, visit the Natural Science Museum where you can see live animals (including rabbits, birds, and turtles) and educational exhibits. On March 11th, enjoy Sugarfest/ Adopt-a-Maple where families can tap their own sugar tree and enjoy a maple sugaring demo – with pancakes. Westmoreland Sanctuary, 260 Chestnut Ridge Road, Mount Kisco, NY 10549

March 2023 | Westchester Family 27
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is now part of

Meet Karri

Bowen-Poole Founder of Smart Playrooms, which brings ‘educational design’ to Westchester children

Play is such an integral part of a child’s development. Karri Bowen-Poole and her team at Smart Playrooms are huge advocates of this that can be seen in their residential and communal playrooms that fuses educational principles, design and play-based activities for kids. This includes elements that evoke curiosity and motivate children by creating the ultimate play space for kids to learn, grow, and explore.

As a former teacher, Karri and her teams designs engage kids in open-ended creative thinking and play, while promoting independence, creativity, problem-solving and cooperation. Read on to learn more about Smart Playrooms, how this idea came about, and the process of how these beautiful and functional playrooms come about.

How did the idea for Smart Playrooms come about?

The idea for Smart Playrooms first came to me in the middle of the night, as many great ideas do. The next morning, I

couldn’t stop thinking about the concept of “educational design.”

At the time, I was working as a preschool teacher after being an elementary school teacher for 13 years, and I had a lot of experience watching how kids learn and play. As a parent, I’d also seen some poorly designed, cluttered, and ignored playrooms when I took my kids on playdates. The more I thought about it, the more I knew I was on to something. So, I got to work.

As a teacher, I excelled at helping kids embrace their natural curiosity and encouraged their love of learning. I always provided a balanced approach that combined classroom design with kinesthetic, visual, and auditory learning.

My innate understanding of what kids need and how to address those needs in every lesson is what set me apart as a teacher. In my classrooms, whether it was elementary or preschool, students were eager to learn and developed a strong sense of ownership over their curiosity and their knowledge. I knew I could bring those elements into the playroom.

Tell us more about your process and what is involved in developing one of your custom educational playrooms – both in residential and communal spaces?

Our team of educators and designers are specially trained in designing custom educational play spaces. We design playrooms to have as many creative educational activities as possible for the children, keeping in mind that “less is more.” Our thorough understanding of child development has given us the experience and education to understand what types of activities excite and motivate children. Our design process focuses on the activities rather than the decor.

All Smart Playrooms are tailored to each client and their children, factoring in the clients taste, style and children’s ages. Our designs will engage children in open-ended creative thinking and play, while promoting independence, creativity, problem-solving and cooperation.

To achieve this goal, we combine interior design principles and functional organizational systems with a complete understanding of child development.

28 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023
courtesy of s mart Playrooms

How long does a project typically take?

For our onsite-residential design process, it really depends on the nature of the project (size and scope) and the customization/ construction involved. Most of the playrooms we design and install take anywhere from 3-6 months to complete.

We also do virtual E-designs all over the US and abroad for families who prefer to take on the purchasing and project management themselves. Once we receive the measurements and photos from a client, we can deliver an in-depth custom playroom design plan, which includes mood boards, drawings (2D and 3D0 and a clickable shopping list, in 4 to 6 weeks. For this option, the client then hires their own contractor and does their own purchasing and overseeing the construction.

Tell us more about a few recent projects.

We recently completed some incredible projects right here in Westchester County. For example, one family in Southern Westchester had outgrown their somewhat drab basement and realized the large couch area with the TV was not going to be used in the basement. We were lucky to be able to completely redesign the space, focusing on the kid’s interests now and for the next 10 years!

The kids are ages 3, 6 and 8. Neutrals in gray and white were a MUST so we got to work designing an incredible art area with pegboard and custom storage, a sports court, complete with basketball hoops and wall pads and an incredible mat with personalized logo, a climbing ninja area complete with a fort/ playhouses. We are so happy with the final design and truly LOVED working with this family! The family that plays together STAYS together!.

I really love designing neutral rooms that are minimalist. I am truly a complete minimalist myself and my entire house is gray and white.

How can you help families who might not know what they want?

The first thing I do is to get parents to think about their kid’s ages and interests, and what they want their kids to do in space. Then the design should be focused on activities that speak to that. The design will vary depending on ages and interest of the kids.

Play is so important for helping children learn the skills they need for life and it boosts their self-esteem and confidence. When children are playing, they are learning

about themselves and the world…they learn problem solving, taking risks, negotiating, language skills, communication skills, patience while at the same time play helps children use their 5 senses which can also help children feel more balanced. We believe that playrooms should be customized to the children’s needs and can incorporate areas for playing, relaxing etc…

What are some exciting projects you are working on for 2023?

Business has really taken off (and has taken me all over the country) since the pandemic, it was the one silver lining for me in that families were spending more meaningful time at home, and the demand for residential indoor playrooms and kid gyms exploded. I am currently working on an incredible playroom in Miami and I will be sharing the final space on my instagram @ smartplayrooms soon!

But one of my most exciting projects with my business for 2023 is the addition of e-design on my website. Meaning that you can virtually design a Smart Playroom anywhere you live. You can select an option that works for you and your budget. And if you need to speak to me, you can also

schedule a call. I love what I do and I am so excited to be able to offer a Smart Playroom to basically anyone in the world (since I can only be in so many places at once). This really allows me to expand!

What are some of your favorite things to do in Westchester?

When I’m not designing playrooms I love to take Yoga Classes at Lifetime Fitness, you can find me in my favorite cafe, The Granola Bar in town, and hiking in the beautiful parks and nature trails in the Berkshires.

Do you have anything else to add?

In addition to our on-site design services, we also offer 3 tiers of E-Design services for families that want a Smart Playroom virtually. You can also shop the look of a room you love, and also schedule a call with me. Check out our site for more details. www.smartplayrooms.com @ smartplayrooms

Lastly, we promise that WE WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOUR KIDS PLAY!

smart Playrooms Details: smartplayrooms.com

@smartplayrooms on Instagram

March 2023 | Westchester Family 29
©Jane Beiles

Baby Eczema: What You Need to Know

There are about three million eczema cases a year. While the experts do not know exactly why some babies get eczema while others dont, it can be uncomfortable for your baby and stressful for the parent when a flare-up does occur. We spoke with Dr. Tiffany Otto Knipe to better understand and treat eczema for your little one.

What is eczema exactly?

Eczema (also called “atopic dermatitis”) is a chronic/recurring, inflammatory skin disease that is characterized by itchiness. The skin will appear red, dry, flaky and “rough” or bumpy. Occasionally the rash appears circular, and it can be scattered or located in target areas. In infants the most common areas this occurs is the face and scalp, but it can also occur on the legs, arms and body. Older children typically get eczema behind their elbows and knees.

What are some symptoms a baby with eczema might experience? What are some signs your baby might have it?

Signs a baby has eczema include scratching (which will often precede the appearance of the rash), patches of redness or dry/rough patches on the skin. The skin is itchy so you may notice your infant scratching or rubbing at their face or body. The skin may have scattered red areas and patches of dry, flaky, or rough skin. Often if the skin is very itchy you may notice your infant is irritable and fussy.

What are some possible causes of eczema? Is it environmental? Hereditary?

Both! There are genetic factors that make developing eczema more likely. An infant may be more prone to developing eczema is if there is eczema, allergies or asthma in close family members. But of course there are environmental triggers, too. Fragranced soaps, lotions, laundry detergents, wool or synthetic clothing materials against the skin can all trigger eczema. Exacerbating factors also include excessive bathing without moisturizing afterwards, low-humidity environments, and dry or overheated skin. In older children and adults, stress can also be a trigger for eczema flare-ups.

What advice do you have for parents who

are trying to avoid flare-ups and keep their babies skin comfortable?

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! But please make sure you use fragrance-free moisturizer or, even better, coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil or oatmeal baths.

Maintain humidity in the air by turning on a cool mist humidifier in the baby’s room. Avoid temperature extremes (too hot or too cold weather tends to trigger eczema). Keep bath time under 10 minutes. Dress your infant in loose-fitting cotton clothing.

Keep your baby’s fingernails short so that when they are experiencing flare-ups and feel itchy, they will be less likely to break the skin when scratching (and therefore will avoid introducing bacteria under the skin and starting an infection.)

If a parent did want to go beyond moisturizer, what products do you recommend for relief?

Mommy’s Bliss products are created by and targeted for mother and infant wellness. The products are made in the US and Canada, and they rely on the use of natural remedies to maintain health. I am particularly looking forward to the launch of Baby Eczema Ease

Daily Moisturizer—it combines the most effective natural ingredients into one product that can not only help to repair itchy, eczema skin but, if used regularly, will help to prevent flare-ups, too.

Dr. Tiffany Otto Knipe, MD is a board-certified pediatrician, a Clinical Instructor at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and New York University Langone Medical Center, founder of Washington Market Pediatrics, and a specialist in Pediatric Infectious Diseases. She completed her undergraduate training at University of Pennsylvania, then went on to medical school at Jefferson Medical College. She completed her Pediatric residency at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, and then went on to complete fellowship training in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Yale University and NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Tiffany is a long-time resident of TriBeCa and she loves raising her two boys in the neighborhood. As fixtures in the community, she and her family are often out playing sports at Pier 25, picnicking in Battery Park, and planting in their garden in Washington Market Park.

This story was originally posted on our sister site mommybites.com

30 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023
ask the e xpert
March 2023 | Westchester Family 31 Check us out Online! We’ve the #1 print and digital lifestyle platform for engaged parents in New York Visit westchesterfamily.com to check it out and sign up for our weekly newsletters!

Go Wild at the Newark Museum of Art

Animal Kingdom exhibition offers a fresh look at nature

Families and kids can now learn about and celebrate the wonders of the animal kingdom from the comfort of an art museum.

The Animal Kingdom exhibition at The Newark Museum of Art (newarkmuseumart. org) teaches visitors about the different animals that inhabit the land, air and sea and how we as humans impact them through a series of immersive and interactive experiences.

Upon entering the exhibition, visitors are greeted with the intro gallery, where they can get acquainted with animals of the land, air and sea.

One of the most exciting features of this gallery is the Magic Door to Art. When visitors open the door, they’ll be greeted by a dynamic presentation of 15 different works of art fea-

turing different animals.

The Magic Door to Art shows animals coming to life through art while also demonstrating a connection between science and art.

Showing the connection between different disciplines was a primary goal of the exhibition.

Silvia Filippini-Fantoni, deputy director of learning and engagement at the Newark Museum of Art, says the aim was to “move away from science for science’s sake” and instead “look at the integration between art and science and technology, given that our museum has all these different collections, and how we can bring them together.”

After leaving the intro gallery, visitors will fly into the world of birds in “Lost World: The Audubon Immersive Experience.” This fully immersive projection-based experience brings the animals from Audubon’s Birds of America to life.

The projections in this gallery feature dynamic versions of Audubon’s bird illustrations in their natural habitats, accompanied by a soundtrack of actual bird sounds compiled

from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s database.

This room is also home to a replica of an underground cave, complete with cave paintings modeled after seven different caves from around the world. Here, visitors can play a matching game, allowing them to interact with the first known human art displaying animal subjects in a playful way.

Finally, visitors will enter the “Sketch Aquarium.” In this digital aquarium, parents and kids alike can create their own sea creatures and then scan them into the aquarium. And unlike traditional aquariums, you’re encouraged to tap the glass in the Sketch Aquarium!

In addition to teaching visitors about different animals of the land, air and sea, the Animal Kingdom exhibition also helps visitors learn about the realities of human impact on the environment.

The “Endangered” room in the exhibition highlights endangered and threatened animals, but it’s also a call to action. In this room, visitors can learn about small changes they

32 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023
family day out

can make in their own lives to have a positive impact on the world around them.

Filippini-Fantoni says museums have a responsibility to discuss important social justice issues like humans’ impact on the environment.

“There’s this idea that museums should be neutral,” Filippini-Fantoni says. “But really, we want to address these topics that are relevant and important for our audiences.”

Families can connect with the exhibition even further through special events, like immersive yoga classes held in the “Sketch Aquarium” and “Lost World” rooms of the exhibition.

These special events as well as the immersive nature of the exhibition are efforts to effectively engage with visitors, especially visitors from younger generations.

“We kind of understand that just putting artwork on the wall is not really going to engage and connect with younger audiences,” Filippini-Fantoni says. “We really need to do it in a different way.”

The Animal Kingdom exhibition is unique from what you’d typically find in an art mu-

seum, but it was created in connection with the Newark Museum of Art’s values and mission.

“It was all very intentionally focused on creating opportunities that are unexpected and creative,” says Andreina Castillo, director of marketing and communication for the Newark Museum of Art.

Maegan Douglas, manager of interpretation and public programs, says she hopes attendees leave the exhibition with a sense of awe and wonder.

“Many visitors may not remember some of the things they saw,” Douglas says. “But they’re going to remember how they felt.

The Animal Kingdom exhibition at the Newark Museum of Art is on view through May 2024.

Newark Museum of Art

49 Washington Street

Newark, NJ 07102 973-596-6550

Be a part of the Conversation!

March 2023 | Westchester Family 33
/westchesterfamilymagazine WESTCHESTERFAMILY.COM

Bethany Braun-Silva

on pivoting into a new career with her podcast "The Breakdown With Bethany"

and parenting expert

At New York Family, we have the privilege of meeting all types of parents. It is an inspiring job; it is impossible not to learn and take in everyone’s story that we share. We also attend many events, talks, and summits because, as most parents know, parenting has many layers. Frankly, some of these events can feel a bit junior high and twirling around in my brain as I walk to each one is usually, will I have anyone to chat with ? Will I know anyone since most of our relationships these days are via social ? The answer is usually yes.

I met Bethany Braun-Silva at a parenting talk a few years back. Bethany walked up to me, introduced herself, and with her upbeat personality, she shared how she was also a parenting writer. As I have gotten to know Bethany, I now know that on top of being a prolific parenting editor, she is an on-the-go mom of two boys, Elias, 10, and Jake, 7, who she raises with her equally busy husband, Manny. On any given day, you may see an article pop up in the world web that she has written as a Special Projects Editor at Wild Sky Media. Or you will find her sharing helpful parenting advice and mom hacks on TV news segments. So it was not surprising when she founded her podcast and web show "The Breakdown With Bethany" on Mom. com, where she interviews celebrity moms and parenting experts that are a refreshing listen.

I caught up with this busy mom to learn more about how she has pivoted into a new career (the podcast) while keeping her day job as a writer and parenting expert.

DDL:What inspired you to start The Breakdown With Bethany?

BBS:Mindy Kaling! Well, not directly, but during my time as the Editor of Parenting. com , I got offered an interview with her

and couldn’t believe how lucky I was. The interview went well, but I didn’t get the green light to publish the conversation on Parenting.com , so I thought, “why not create my own platform for all these interviews with amazing moms I was being offered?” I love talking to mothers about their ambitions, motherhood journey, careers, relationships, struggles, and triumphs; I truly feel that is what I’m meant to do, so I just did it. I bootstrapped the project for so long, and now I’m so proud that it’s widely available on multiple podcast platforms and YouTube.

DDL:You interview many well-known moms, although they are all pretty famous; what are some things that make them just like us?

BBS:Get ready for a major name drop, but it was actually Serena Williams who said to me during an interview that “motherhood is the ultimate equalizer.” I think moms, famous or not, go through similar emotional struggles: guilt, shame, fear, and loneliness. Something that I’ve been so grateful to help do through my interviews is destigmatized conversations around postpartum depression and anxiety. This is something we talk about a lot on “The Breakdown With Bethany,” and famous or not, this is something that no mother is immune to, and I love that I’m able to help bring more and more awareness to this important topic.

DDL: Any incredible interviews where you signed off and said to yourself WOW?

BBS: Any time I can make a real connection with someone is a “wow” moment. I do the interview through Zoom, so this can definitely be challenging, but most recently, I interviewed Jenna Bush Hager, and from the first question, I could tell that this was going to be a great interview. She is so giving as a reporter and as a guest, and I am also such an admirer of hers that when I

finished, I needed to take a minute to take the moment in.

DDL:I also love hearing mothers’ stories; there always seems to be a common thread: we have a lot more in common than we think. By sharing these mom stories, do you feel it helps you parent?

BBS:I do! I think any time I feel connected and like I’m not alone on this crazy parenthood journey helps me to be a better parent. And that’s exactly why I wanted to share these stories, to help other parents, especially mothers, realize they are not alone. When I conduct interviews, I usually have a question (or two) pertaining to my life. For instance, I recently interviewed a well-known parenting writer who is coming out with a book about astrology and raising kids. I mentioned that it always seems to be a battle with my older son, who is an Aries, and she told me that Aries often like to “fight for fun.” She gave me some great recommendations on relating to him, like sparring with him a bit lovingly. So far, it seems to be working!

DDL:While still a working editor, you have made some pivots to follow your passion for storytelling; what advice can you share with parents on making changes in their careers (keeping in mind many of us still have to pay our bills)?

BBS:I totally get that bill-paying part. Nobody is bankrolling me or my husband so my desire to make a career shift has been fueled by my passion and ambition but it has also been incredibly intentional. What I would suggest to parents who want to make a change in their careers is to follow their passions and to go for it absolutely but not blow up their lives. What I mean is don’t quit the day job without a revenue stream. My journey to television and creating the podcast was, at times, painstakingly slow— because

34 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023
— while keeping her day job as a writer

I couldn’t just leave everything behind to pursue the big dream, and I still can’t. But I’m finding that doing things at a slower, more calculated pace has helped me reach levels I never thought I could. So I say to go for it with all your heart, but don’t be afraid about taking it slow and making smart (and best) decisions for your family, even if it feels like a step back. You’ll get there!

DDL:What do you do to banish mom guilt?

BBS:Mom guilt can be incredibly overwhelming, especially when you are as ambitious as I am. In the moments when I’m feeling especially guilty, I take a moment to practice mindfulness and really get present with myself. I check in with myself by asking questions like: Are my kids okay? Are they healthy? Are they safe? Are they happy? The answer is usually “yes,” thank goodness, which helps ground me. And then, I spend some time with them where I am 100 percent present to check in and reconnect. But if I’m being honest, I mostly ignore it and push through.

DDL:You are a born and bred New Yorker; what do you love about raising kids here in the city?

BBS:So. Many. Things. I grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, and my husband grew up in Astoria, so raising our little New Yorkers to appreciate all the things we loved growing up is so fun and rewarding. From stickball in the schoolyard to trips to quick trips to The Met, there are so many things to appreciate about being from NYC. Watching them experience the same things I did for the first time is such a joy. They really are little New Yorkers and have a hard time understanding that pizza is not available 24 hours a day in other places.

DDL:What are some of the ‘rules’ you feel you have broken to create a life you are happy living?

BBS:I love this question because I’m actually writing a book that has to do with this very topic. I love breaking “rules.” I was a mother before I was a wife; I pursued a career in journalism without any formal education on the subject, and I started a podcast out of a sheer desire to spread a message and cultivate a community. Maybe it’s my New York sensibility or being an only child but I hate to be told I can’t do something. I advocate for myself professionally a lot. Sometimes it feels scary and a little desperate but I know who I am and what I can bring to the table. So I would also encourage other women to do the same!

March 2023 | Westchester Family 35
Michelle Rose Photo

We S tC he S ter

Family science Workshop: leap into moon science

WheN: Saturdays and Sundays, 1–4pm through March 26.

Where : Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers

ages: 8 and up

What: Learn about the science of the moon with a wearable demonstration of the phases, make a crater, compare our moon to others, and more.

WaNt to go?: Included with admission: $6-$10. (914) 963–4550, hrm.org

Flip circus

WheN: March 3-March 20,

Weekdays, 7:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 11am, Saturdays and Sundays, 2pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 5pm.

Where : Cross County Center, 8000 Mall Walk, Yonkers ages: All

What: See the great motorcycles inside the Globe of Steel and laugh like you never have before with gleeful clowns.

WaNt to go?: Tickets start at $25. (914) 968–9570, flipcircus. com

a Purim in the circus experience

WheN: March 7, 4–6pm

Where : Chabad of Bedford, 220 South Bedford Road, Bedford Corners

ages: All

What: Celebrate the festive holiday of Purim with an interactive circus show, aerialist, juggler, acrobatics, tight wire & stilts, carnival foods and of coursehamentashen!

WaNt to go?: $20 per person. (914) 666–6065, chabadbedford.com

animal interactions

WheN: March 11, 10am.

Where : Muscoot Farm, 51 Route 100, Katonah ages: 8 and up

What: See, touch, and learn about an animal on the farm.

WaNt to go?: $25. muscootfarm.org

the Bossy Frog Band

WheN: March 11, 11am–noon

Where : Chappaqua

Performing Arts Center, 480 N Bedford Road, Chappaqua

ages: 8 and under

What: Bring the little ones to this interactive concert filled with banjo, guitar, fiddle and a dancing frog!

WaNt to go?: $15; $10 children; free for children younger than 3. Chappaquapac.org

the ugly Duckling –lightwire theater

WheN: March 12, 2pm

Where : Tarrytown Music Hall, 13 Main St. Tarrytown ages: All

36 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023
Flip circus swings into the cross county center in Yonkers this month.

What: This beloved story plays out on stage through a cuttingedge blend of puppetry, technology and dance.

WaNt to go?: $28; $23 children 12 and younger. (914) 631–3390, tarrytownmusichall. org

eastchester’s 17th annual st. Patrick’s Day Parade

WheN: March 12, 3pm

Where : Eastchester IrishAmerican Social Club, 53 Winter Hill Road, Tuckahoe ages: All

What: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at this annual parade featuring bagpipers, Irish dancing, community clubs, and more!

WaNt to go?: Free. eastchesterirish.org

luck of the hill

WheN: March 17, 5–8pm

Where : Ridge Hill, 1 Ridge Hill Blvd. Yonkers

ages: All

What: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with live music, face painters, green beer & special Irish step dancing performances.

WaNt to go?: Free. ridgehill. com

lego® city: city of champions

WheN: March 17 – April 23, 11am–5pm.

Where : LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester, 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers

ages: All

What: Complete epic missions and collect limited edition mission cards!

WaNt to go?:

Tickets start at $27.99. legolanddiscoverycenter.com/ westchester

66th annual yonkers st. Patrick’s Parade

WheN: March 18, 1pm

Where : Yonkers St. Patrick’s Parade, McLean Avenue, Yonkers

ages: All

What: The Yonkers St. Patrick’s Parade will once again march up the Emerald Mile.

WaNt to go?: Free. yonkersstpatricksparade.org


WheN: March 18 & 19, 9:30am–4:30pm.

Where : Westchester

Children’s Museum, 100 Playland Parkway, Rye

ages: 3 – 8

What: Test out a bunch of different slime recipes!

WaNt to go?: $10; $9 seniors. (914) 421–5050, discoverwcm.org

Junie B. Jones essential survival guide to school

WheN: March 19, 11am

Where : Emelin Theatre, 153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck ages: 5 – 9

What: Junie B. shows you that school can be sometimes scary, sometimes super-fun, and ALWAYS something to sing about!

WaNt to go?: $24; $19 children. (914) 698–0098, emelin.org

health vibes only!

Westchester expo

WheN: March 25, 10am–4pm

Where : St. Gabriel’s Church in the Gymnasium, 50 Washington Ave. New Rochelle ages: All What: Come out for a day of interactive activities, health services, and wellness education designed for the entire family!

WaNt to go?: Free. eventbrite.com

NYC the very hungry caterpillar show

WheN: Fridays, 10 am, Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30 am and 11:30 am. through May 28.

Where : DR2 Theatre, 103 East 15 Street, New York ages: 8 and under

What: See the stories of Eric Carle come to life with a menagerie of over 75 magical puppets.

WaNt to go?: $48$110. (212) 375–1110, hungrycaterpillarshow.com

Dog man: the musical

WheN: Starting March 4,

Saturdays, 11am, 2pm and 4:30pm, Sundays, 12pm and 3 pm, Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 7 pm, through April 30 Where : New World Stages, 340 W 50th Street, New York ages: 5 – 12

What: Everyone’s favorite crime fighting dog leaps off the pages and onto the stage in this hilarious family show.

WaNt to go?: $50-$116. Newworldstages.com

Family time: Double Dutch

WheN: March 18, 3 – 5 pm

Where : The Bronx Museum, 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx ages: All

What: All ages and skill levels are welcome to an afternoon of double dutch with experienced instructors.

WaNt to go?: Free. (718) 681–6000, bronxmuseum.org

Wings of Dublin irish Dance

WheN: March 19, 4 pm

Where : Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx ages: 5 and up

What: See exquisite Irish and World champion dancers together with Ireland’s finest musical and vocal virtuosos.

WaNt to go?: $32-$83. (718) 960–8833, lehmancenter.org

March 2023 | Westchester Family 37 MARC h calendar
learn about the moon at a Family s cience Workshop at the hudson river musem, weekends this month. slimeFest comes to the Westchester children’s museum on march 18 and 19.

Books We Love

Our editors share their favorite new reads

The Soul of an Octopus

Author: Sy Montgomery

Genre: Non-fiction, Nature

A woman befriends octopuses at the New England Aquarium. The heartwarming book shows the intelligence and complexity of these spirited, playful and fascinating creatures, as well as the meaningful bonds they can form with humans.

Editor: Barbara Russo

Such a Fun Age

Author: Kiley Reid

Genre: Fiction, Coming-of-age

A case of racial profiling causes the relationship between a young Black woman and the wealthy white mother she babysits for to disintegrate. As both women try to figure out the other, they come to realize that their lives are far more intertwined than they could have ever imagined. Themes of race, identity, and privilege are undercut by humor and snappy writing that makes the novel hard to put down.

Editor: Vered Ornstein

Book Lovers

Author: Emily Henry

Genre: Romance

Cut-throat literary agent Nora Stephens is far from the typical heroine in a romance novel – and she should know, she’s read them all. When her younger sister begs her to go on a vacation to a tiny town in North Carolina, Nora keeps running into Charlie, a brooding book editor she’s worked with one too many times. But as their paths in this tiny town cross again and again, Nora and Charlie both discover that they’re more than the literary tropes they’ve assigned themselves.

Editor: Kaitlyn Riggio

I’m Glad My Mom Died

Author: Jennette McCurdy

Genre: Memoir

Fans of the Nickelodeon teen series’ iCarly and Sam and Kat will be left stunned by this biographical bombshell from the actor who plays the shows’ popular character, Sam Puckett. In it, she details how her mother forced her into a career she wanted no part of from a very young age, and how it led to a long-term struggle with eating disorders and alcohol abuse. The extremely personal and revealing memoir is the kind that will stay with you for a while, whether you’re familiar with its celebrity author or not.

Editor: Jeannine Cintron

The Rules Do Not Apply

Author: Ariel Levy

Genre: Memoir

Trigger warning on this book. This book is written with brutal honesty and does include the heartache of loss and love that doesn’t always work out. The book shares the author’s life as she navigates her career and life and how while some parts are sad - in my opinion, the openness is beautifully written and reminds us that we all have diverse outcomes for our actions but this is the heartbreak and beauty of life.

Editor: Donna Duarte Ladd

Somebody’s Daughter

Author: Ashley C. Ford

Genre: Memoir

This powerful memoir highlights Ashley’s complicated childhood that she defines with such depth and detail. She gives readers a look into her life – and her struggles, growing up poor and Black. A very different coming-of-age-story, she beautifully weaves stories of who she was, her family, her body, relationships, poverty, and more – recounting how they made part of who she is – as she learns to become herself.

Editor: Serena Norr

38 WestchesterFamily.com | March 2023
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