Brooklyn Family - September 2023

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Activity & After-school Progr A ms guide Alyce in Laughland Alyce Chan of @momcomnyc on her path to comedy, how she carves out time for her creative work, and why her weirdness is her superpower crisP delights Your Ultimate Guide to Apple Picking Back-toschool health strategies What to Know About the RSV Shot Approved for Infants September 2023

At BASIS Independent Brooklyn, students in grades PreK–12 are inspired to learn at the highest international levels in a globally benchmarked curriculum with proven results. Our liberal arts and advanced STEM offerings and expert teachers unite to foster curiosity and ingenuity in every student.

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Unlock your child’s potential with Amazing Explorers Academy’s STEAM-based curriculum & enrichment programs

Unlock your child’s potential with Amazing Explorers Academy’s STEAM-based curriculum & enrichment programs

Unlock your child’s potential with Amazing Explorers Academy’s STEAM-based curriculum & enrichment programs

Unlock your child’s potential with Amazing Explorers Academy’s STEAM-based curriculum & enrichment programs









September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 3

Photo: Yumi Matsuo |

Cover Location: The Malin Williamsburg |

Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | Cover story written by: Cris Pearlstein | Produced by: Donna Duarte-Ladd

4 | September 2023 Septembe R 2023 contents fe Atures 18 | activities The many benefits of after-school programs 28 | i n the n ews The new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act 32 | tech The Kinfolk App changes how kids learn BIPOC history 36 | childcare Exploring the best childcare that fits your needs 38 | Spaces The Malin : A luxury co-working haven 39 | education NYC School Calendar 42 | cover Alyce Chan (better known as @momcomnyc) on the roundabout path that led her to comedy stories & columns 8 | editor’s letter 10 | m om Hacks Keeping yourself healthy as we head back to school 14 | Health The FDA has approved RSV shots for infants 16 | family Day o ut New Brower Park Library opens inside Brooklyn Children’s Museum 24 | education Advice for finding the perfect educational fit for your child 30 | a sk the e xpert Co-parenting peacefully post-divorce 34 | family fun 8 great planetariums in and near NYC 40 | family Day o ut Time to go apple picking! fA mily fun
c alendar
the fun events and activities for September d irectories
| activities listings on tH e cover
44 |
pg. 42 pg. 18 pg. 40 pg. 44 pg. 34
September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 5

Children And Youth With Special Health Care Needs Program

We serve children and young adults (age 21 and younger) who:

• Live in a New York City (NYC) borough

• Have been diagnosed with or may have a serious or chronic health condition or disability, or a physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional or behavioral condition

• Need extra health care and assistance

Referrals: Staff refer families with children and youth who have special health care needs to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Certified Application Counselors. The Certified Application Counselors help families apply for low- or no-cost health insurance and connect families to community resources to meet their children’s unique medical needs.

Information Services: Staff help families find out about and choose health care options and services to best meet their children’s needs.

Resources: Staff provide educational materials and web-based resources on health insurance and medical topics.

For more information, scan the QR code, visit, or call 311.

Funded by the New York State Department of Health using federal Health Resources and Services Administration Title V funding. The opinions, results, findings and/or interpretations of content contained therein are the responsibility of the Contractor and do not necessarily represent the opinions, interpretations, or policy of the State or Federal funding agency.

September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 7

Hey Alexa, Can you make school lunch?

Here we are; the sprinklers and ice cream cones are giving way to brand-new backpacks (or some fabulous hand-me-downs in my family) and sharpened pencils. While much happens in September, it’s hard not to focus on Back to School because it’s a big deal. This is why we have tips on (page 10): Keeping yourself healthy as the kids return to school.

If you are searching for after-school programs or extracurricular activities, check out our guide (page 18). And confession... we messed up. In the August issue, we’re still determining how this happened — let’s blame the printers. We’ll go with that, but the school calendar was wrong. No, Thanksgiving is not in January, and neither is Christmas. The correct calendar is in this issue. Promise.

And while BTS is the theme in September,

other fun things happen this month. Many families’ favorite is to go Apple Picking (page 40)— we have a helpful guide on all the orchards you can visit. Per usual, we have a bountiful calendar of family-friendly events this month as we head into Fall (page 44.)

With the kids returning to school, there is always a touch of chaos, so it makes sense why we gravitated towards this month’s cover, Alyce Chan (page 42). Her very popular Instagram @ momcomnycs usually has us in hysterics. Editor at large Cris Pearlstein chatted with Alyce on the path that led her to comedy (it’s unusual and inspirational) and making room for family and creativity.

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8 | September 2023 editor’s note Share your feedback and ideas about family life in New York! Email us at and tag us at #newyorkfamily get i N 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 n ina g allo photography 2022
September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 9

Keeping Yourself Healthy at Backto-School Time

6 smart health tips for parents trying to keep it all together

School is back in session, and along with more structured days comes the task of organizing our kids’ schedules and everything that the school year entails. Not to mention, we have our own daily lives to manage, and even with our best efforts to find balance, there are moments when we start feeling worn out. And who is guilty of this one (me, I’m the problem )? Many of us parents strive not to take sick days -reserving these days for our kids; with many parents still working remotely or hybrid, we are working when we would have taken a sick day pre-pandemic and office life. And if you have kids in the younger grades – germs, sickness, and now Covid have become the norm. In short, we need to try and stay healthy.

Whether you’re juggling a full-time job or staying home to care for the little one and manage the household, as parents, we need to prioritize our well-being and happiness. With all the responsibilities on our plates during the school year, I encourage you to be kind to yourself and seek support to stay in a positive place. Yup, it’s hard and it can feel like work, but focusing on your mental and physical health can make this year more fulfilling and positive. Here are some easy tried and true tips.

1Vitamin C Every Day

Vitamin C may not stop a fullblown head cold, but consuming it will help maintain a healthy immune system Harvard Health Publishing states, “If you want the benefits of vitamin C, you’ll need to consume it every day, and not just at the start of cold symptoms.”

Some of us may have vitamin C packs in our bags for when in a pinch. But other ways to get vitamin C in your diet are orange juice, tomatoes, winter squash, and green pepper, to name a few.


Consider the Flu Shot

Every year our children’s schools require students to get a flu shot, yet we, as parents, should also consider this shot. I have mom friends who believe in the flu shot and get the shot once the school year starts while other friends pass.

I am pro flu shot as I have found myself to be less sick when I get it. There are times when I have had a rough year of colds and viruses, and I think what shape I would be in if I didn’t get this shot?

For more info on the flu shot, check out our article Flu Shot Facts: Common Questions About the Vaccine at New York Family.


Add Probiotics to Your Daily Diet

When my youngest entered daycare a few years back, a tsunami of sickness hit me in that first year, it was brutal. To get on track health-wise – I took my doctor’s suggestions and started incorporating probiotics into my diet. Probiotic foods are simple foods that contain good bacteria.

Probiotics alone are not going to cure something like, say the flu — what they do is help you in overall health. Think of them as part of staying healthy by taking them in pill form or eating foods such as yogurt, kimchee, or kombucha.


Self-Care for the Win

Self-care has become a muchneeded movement, with moms sharing how they care for themselves,

10 | September 2023
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September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 11
Ace® Hardware 470 Court St., (corner of 4th Place) • Brooklyn, NY 11231 • 718-624-8494
©2022 Benjamin Moore & Co. Benjamin Moore and the triangle “M” symbol are registered trademarks licensed to Benjamin Moore & Co. All other marks are the property of their respective owner. Printed in the USA. 8/22
Ace® Hardware 470 Court St., (corner of 4th Place) • Brooklyn, NY 11231 • 718-624-8494
©2022 Benjamin Moore & Co. Benjamin Moore and the triangle “M” symbol are registered trademarks licensed to Benjamin Moore & Co. All other marks are the property of their respective owner. Printed in the USA. 8/22
Ace® Hardware 470 Court St., (corner of 4th Place) • Brooklyn, NY 11231 • 718-624-8494
©2022 Benjamin Moore & Co. Benjamin Moore and the triangle “M” symbol are registered trademarks licensed to Benjamin Moore & Co. All other marks are the property of their respective owner. Printed in the USA. 8/22

especially by posting through social media. Why do we share with other moms how we care for ourselves outside of our daily lives as kids? Because it is freaking important! Spa, exercising, walking around the park, or hanging with your mom tribe benefits your mental health. This school year — make time for yourself.

Calm in a Bottle


If you have ever done yoga or have gotten an aromatherapy oil massage, then you know that the whiff of certain oils can calm the mind.

Since doing a tree pose or downward dog in the office is not always feasible try recycling a beauty bottle and mixing some calming oils, throw in your bag, or keep by your laptop and dabble a bit on when you need a bit of ease to your day.

Some oils to try:

Lavender: Known for its calming and soothing properties, lavender oil can help reduce stress, anxiety and promote better sleep

Chamomile: Chamomile essential oil is

excellent for relaxation, promoting sleep, and easing tension

Ylang Ylang: has a sweet and floral aroma that is believed to have aphrodisiac properties and can help reduce stress and anxiety

Bergamot: This citrus oil has uplifting and mood-balancing properties, making it helpful for managing stress and mild depression

Geranium: This oil is known for its balancing effect on hormones and can help ease symptoms related

Lemon: A refreshing and uplifting oil, perfect if more oaky oils are not your thing Sidenote: Remember, essential oils are potent and should be used properly. Additionally, avoid using essential oils on babies under six months old and use them sparingly around young children.

6 Sleep Is Non-Negotiable

Around 9:30 pm, my free time starts. Kids are asleep, and I can watch a silly movie and catch up on emails; it’s my time.

The problem with this is I should be sleeping. Easier said than done, as having this time to myself is gold.

But getting rest is essential, and the benefits are enormous. According to the CDC, “Getting enough sleep is not a luxury —it is something people need for good health.”

So as much as you want that free time to write your first novel or start that business, you have meant to get going, designate a night or two to do all this fun stuff, and reserve the rest of the week to catch up with muchneeded R&R.

Rivendell School provides a warm, creative environment where children develop independence, respect for each other, and a lifelong love of learning.

12 | September 2023
mom hacks Science Experiments Spanish & Computer Instruction Vibrant Arts, Music & STEM Program (718) 421-9581 An inclusive Montessori school for children 2-6 serving the Park Slope/Gowanus community for forty years 277 3rd Ave. (bet. Carroll & President Streets) 718-499-5667
Whether you’re juggling a full-time job or staying home to care for the little one and manage the household, as parents, we need to prioritize our well-being and happiness.

Amazing Explorers Academy

in today’s rapidly evolving world, the demand for a highly skilled workforce is increasing exponentially. Growth and preparing our youth for the unforeseen future is a challenging and increasingly necessary step in today’s world. We know change starts with our youth, and more specifically, their growth during their earliest childhood years and education.

Early childhood education is a vital part of the development for each child, as 90% of the brain develops before Kindergarten. This initial time spent in growth, learning, being nurtured, and building relationships are the building blocks that transition children later into successful, imaginative, trusting, and loving adults. With these facts in mind, it is natural that all parents and guardians are looking for a caring environment where their child will thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. That is why it is exciting to know there is a place in line with this philosophy, and it has opened in the Williamsburg area. This place is called Amazing Explorers Academy.

Amazing Explorers Academy is not just an ordinary preschool; it is a hub of inspiration and discovery. By infusing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) into its curriculum, the academy offers a holistic educational experience that goes beyond traditional boundaries. Students will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on experiments, artistic expression, technological exploration, and problem-solving activities, all designed to cultivate a well-rounded foundation of knowledge and skills.

At Amazing Explorers Academy, the focus is on nurturing young innovators. The school recognizes that children are naturally curious and creative, and it seeks to provide them with an environment that encour-

ages and amplifies these innate qualities. Through open-ended projects and interactive experiences, students will be inspired to think critically, take risks, and unleash their boundless imagination. The academy’s dedicated team of educators will guide and mentor children, empowering them to become fearless learners, confident explorers, and well-rounded children.

With the arrival of Amazing Explorers Academy in Williamsburg, a new chapter in early childhood education is set to unfold. This STEAM-based preschool will empower

young learners to embrace their natural curiosity, unlock their limitless potential, and build a strong foundation for future success. Through its commitment to innovation, creativity, and inclusivity, Amazing Explorers Academy is poised to help shape the next generation of thinkers, innovators, and problem-solvers. Brooklyn’s newest educational gem is not just a preschool; it is a gateway to endless possibilities and a testament to the borough’s dedication to nurturing the minds and dreams of its youngest residents.

September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 13 New York FamilY partN er

RSV Shot Has Been Approved by the FDA for Infants

What parents need to know

In the fall of 2022, there was a rash case of RSV infections among young children. While RSV—respiratory syncytial virus—is a common seasonal respiratory virus of the respiratory tract known to be more severe in infants and older adults- it can be especially highly contagious to children. And many kids had to be hospitalized at the time. What worried most parents, besides the fact that we had all been put through Covid, Monkeypox, and now RSV, was this was all happening at a time when kids were getting back out in the world and had not been around everyday germs and viruses. It was not surprising the numbers were high for hospitalizations in New York and positive cases were up weekly at this time. With this rise in flu and Covid cases, health experts referred to the worrying increase in infant hospitalizations as a “tripledemic.” Once again, parents with young children and the vulnerable such as immune comprised individuals and the elderly, had to continue to mask up and tread carefully outdoors or in highly populated places. While vaccines against Covid and the flu were already available by that time, no such antibody protection against RVS existed for infants.

Some of the most vulnerable to RSV are newborns to children to age 5. RSV is the single most common cause of respiratory hospitalization in infants. It is estimated that about 1 to 3 percent of children under 12 months old in the U.S. are hospitalized each year due to RSV, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Now there is help. On July 18, 2023, the FDA approved Beyfortus from AstraZeneca and Sanofi, which protects infants and toddlers against the Respiratory Syncytial Virus. On August 3rd the CDC approved the shot. The CDC in a statement shared, "All infants younger than 8 months who are born during – or entering –their first RSV season should receive one dose of nirsevimab. For some children between the ages

of 8 and 19 months who are at increased risk of severe RSV disease, a dose is recommended at the start of their second RSV season."

What is Beyfortus

When our babies are young, we feel vulnerable about what we give them. While treatments are a relief, we all want to understand what we give our children. Beyfortus is a monoclonal antibody treatment, meaning it works by neutralizing the virus and suppressing its ability to replicate itself. Monoclonal antibodies are a type of protein made in a lab and can bind to certain targets in the body, such as antigens.

RSV infection rates typically rise in late fall and early winter. Though the virus usually presents with mild, cold-like symptoms, the infection is often more severe in babies under 12 months. It can lead to the development of lower respiratory tract diseases such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis.

Why this new shot matters

With RSV being the biggest respiratory threat

to young babies, it is understandable why this new treatment is a big deal for many parents. The new treatment is expected to be available to the public by the start of this fall RSV season. This means the school season, daycare, nursery school, and indoor excursions such as going to the movies no longer mark the same fear of an RVS uprising. Also, air travel and holiday time with extended family means less worry of a respiratory illness.

Of course, we recommend having a conversation with your pediatrician regarding your baby being given the RSV shot.

John Farley, director of the FDA’s Office of Infectious Diseases, shared in a statement. “RSV can cause serious disease in infants and some children and results in a large number of emergency department and physician office visits each year,” he also shared, “Today’s approval addresses the great need for products to help reduce the impact of RSV disease on children, families, and the health care system.”

14 | September 2023
September 2023 | Brooklyn Family

New Brower Park Library

A new resource opens inside Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Hey Brooklyn bookworms, there’s a new library in town! It’s the new Brower Park Library, which celebrated its grand opening on Thursday, and it’s located right inside the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights.

Part of the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), the new branch is set to delight museum goers and readers of all ages.

“I think we’ll see a lot of readers. One thing that is important to know is that it is a library for the whole family,” Fritzi Bodenheimer, press officer at BPL, said. “So, even though it’s in the children’s museum and we have this wonderful and delightful children’s section, there are books there for adults and laptops you can check out.”

The recently opened branch is a full-service, 6,000-square-foot library. It’s located on the first floor of the museum, and visitors can enter from the outside, on Brooklyn Avenue.

There’s a bit of history to the new branch, too. The original Brower Park Library opened in 1963, was located close to the museum, but was also in need of costly repairs.

Instead of pursuing a costly and prolonged process of purchasing and repairing the building, the library partnered with the Brooklyn Children’s Museum to provide the community with a similarly sized, but far more modern and comfortable space for readers.

“When Brooklyn Children’s Museum was founded in 1899, it was envisioned as a place where a public library would be an integral part of our campus,” Stephanie Hill Wilchfort, president and CEO of the museum, said. “We are delighted to partner with the Brooklyn Public Library as we transform this century-old dream into a vibrant reality. Together, we are committed to preserving an invaluable resource for education and information within our community for generations to come.”

What to Expect at the Brower Park Library in Brooklyn

Readers will love browsing approximately 11,000 covers from many different genres.

The page-turning book selection is a mustsee on its own, but the actual design of the library, which was done by architecture firm Tsao & McKown, is equally impressive.

Visitors enter the main reading room from Brooklyn Avenue, and there’s even a delightful outdoor component that provides shade on especially sunny days.

“One of the nice things about this new library is there is a little bit of outdoor space—a patio,” Bodenheimer said. “We have a bench that’s built in, and I think we’ll eventually put out some tables.”

Adjacent is a community room that can host 50 people for meetings and programs. It includes a movable partition, ample storage, modern AV equipment and a sink for arts and crafts.

Beyond the main reading room, patrons enter the children’s room through a colorful threshold. The space here features multiple ceiling heights, lowered book stacks, nooks for reading and researching, group tables, and a theater proscenium for impromptu storytelling and play.

The backdrop of the theater proscenium is a 12-foot window overlooking museum exhibit space.

There’s also a small meeting room for the community to utilize.

Upcoming Programs

Get ready to plan some fun outings to the library, because the branch has a variety of programs planned, including:

• Story times both on site at the library and nearby Brower Park

• Computer classes

• Craft workshops

• A hip hop music production course for teens

The museum-library collaboration is

branching out in a fun way throughout the borough, too.

Through a program titled Collections

Connections, community galleries are being displayed in 10 libraries throughout Brooklyn, allowing library-goers to see objects and artifacts from the museum’s collections that explore animals and nature, transportation, world cultures and more.

“For more than 100 years, both Brooklyn Public Library and Brooklyn Children’s Museum have served the borough with books, education, and programming,” Linda Johnson, president and CEO of BPL, said. “Now we begin a new chapter. We are thrilled to open Brower Park Library on the first floor of the museum, providing the next generation the opportunity to read, learn and explore the world around them.”

The project cost $6 million, and funding was provided by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the Mayor’s Office, the Office of the Borough President, and the City Council, including funds from former Council Member Robert Cornegy, a grant from former Assembly Member Diana Richardson, and a gift from the Blumberg Family in memory of Rhoda Blumberg.

What to Know About Visiting

The Brower Park Library is located inside the Brooklyn Children’s Museum on Brooklyn Avenue in Crown Heights.

Hours are: Monday, 10am-6pm; Tuesday, 1-8pm; Wednesday, 10am-6pm; Thursday, 10-8pm; Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday, 10am5pm. It’s closed on Sundays.

The library is free to use.

For more information about the Brower Park Library, visit

16 | September 2023
family day out
Photo by Gregg Richards
September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 17

The Many Benefits of After-school Programs

According to the Afterschool Alliance, kids spend more than 1,200 hours in school every year. While that may seem like a substantial amount of time, school only accounts for 20% of a child’s time. This is why after-school programs and activities are a big part of our kids’ school experience. Programs and activities are essential in fostering social and emotional growth, just as important as academic reasons. For busy parents, particularly those juggling work commitments (#iykyk), these programs provide a space where children can thrive safely and productively, extending the learning and joy beyond the regular school hours.

Read on to discover more about why after-school programs are so beneficial to kids and their families.

Meet New Friends

After-school classes allow kids to connect and meet new people outside of school. Extracurricular activities help form a community and forge a sense of belonging as they hyper-focus on one activity. This can also benefit students who struggle with making friends in school, where they can connect with a different set of peers in smaller groups.

Encourages Physical Activity

After-school activities, like sports, encourage kids to participate in teamwork as well as offer physical activity, help with stress, may improve self-esteem, foster healthy habits, and may promote mental well-being. Kids who participate in sports may also forge longterm bonds that they participate in until the end of high school.

Expose Kids to New Programs

Many schools have limited programming within music and the arts. After-school programming allows kids to try these

programs and express themselves in a new way through acting, music, and/or learning a new artistic skill. They can also help unleash creativity, improve communication, boost confidence, and improve focus and concentration.

Programs are Fun

After-school activities are fun and offer a way for kids to do something exciting and engaging beyond their typical school day. This can be a release for students with a rigorous and intense course load and schedule.

Helps Support Working Parents

Here in New York, we have some of the best after-school programs in the country. Participating in an after-school program allows kids to thrive in a safe and supervised environment until a parent or guardian can pick them up.

Provides a Safe and Supportive Environment

After-school programs provide a safe space during times when some kids might be unsupervised. Under an instructor’s guidance, kids develop new skills and learn from a mentor/teacher who can help kids foster new passions/interests. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “regular participation in an after-school program may also reduce risky behaviors and help kids gain college and career-needed skills.”

Academic Benefits

A supportive after-school program provides a well-rounded educational experience that can impact other aspects of school, such as improved concentration, reduced behavioral problems, and fostering new passions, helping lift kids’ moods and well-being.

18 | September 2023

Fall 2023 Classes

Starting on Thu 9/7!

On-Going Registration!

Tots Ages 2-3

Juniors Ages 4-5

Little Kids Ages 5-7

Kids Ages 7-14

Fall: Thu 9/7-Sun 11/12

Winter: Mon 11/13-Sun 3/3

School Pickup Available:

84, Brooklyn Arbor, P.S. 316 and more!

All levels welcome!

Fall Day Camps

Indoor Skateboarding

Birthday Parties

Private Lessons

September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 19
2-8 · Tue 9/5 · Wed 9/6 · Mon 9/25 · Mon 10/9 · Tue 10/10 · Fri 11/3 · Tue 11/7 · Fri 11/10
SKATEYOGI’s Indoor Locations Williamsburg 58 N. 9th St | Subway: [L] Bedford Ave | Ferry: North Williamsburg Prospect Lefferts Gardens 140 Empire Blvd | Subway: [B/Q/S] Prospect Park | Parking Available | | skateyogi

alvin ailey School

405 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019


The Ailey School’s Junior Division offers a highly structured curriculum for conservatory training. Students in the PreProfessional program (ages 7-17) participate in after school and weekend classes during the school year. All levels include training in ballet and at least one other technique. As students progress, more techniques are added to their training such as jazz, Horton, modern, pointe, tap, and West African. In First Steps and Bounding Boys (ages 3-6), children develop an understanding between dance, rhythm, and music through a weekly series of fun exercises. Check out more on the program at: junior-division

b rooklyn m usic School

126 St Felix St, Brooklyn 718-638-5660

Brooklyn Music School has

been promoting healthy arts and serving the Brooklyn community for over one hundred years. BMS was founded in 1909 by a group of European immigrants who believed that music was an essential part of life and should be made accessible to all regardless of their age, ability, background and economic means. Today, BMS preserves this heritage by providing high quality music, dance, musical theatre, and music therapy programming to everyone. Find out more at

c ampus after School program

2901 Campus Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11210 718-421-7575

Their program is designed for working parents and will ensure that all children accurately complete their homework and have an opportunity to participate in a wide array of activities. Pick-up is available from many local schools. The program begins with a light snack, and children

immediately start homework afterward. Their staff takes the time to review the material and will ensure that all homework is completed and children can demonstrate an understanding of the subject.

child’s play ny

121 Pierrepont St, Brooklyn 347-759-6313

Child’s Play NY’s awardwinning theater programs empower young people to develop themselves and their skills through inspiring production classes. This Brooklynbased company has been beloved since its founding in 2009 and is chosen by dozens of top NYC schools to be their in-house theater program. From new musicals to Shakespeare, serving grades 1-8, there’s a production experience for everyone! Child’s Play NY is both right for the child who passionately dreams of being on stage and the one who is simply looking for a joyfilled class.

ferox athletics

72 Nobel St, Brooklyn 347-482-1580

Ferox After School Program for 1st-6th graders provides kids with an absolute blast after a long day of school. Your child will build strength, develop their coordination and body control, and have fun while doing it with Ferox’s professional coaches and curriculum. Pickup is offered from PS31, PS34, and PS110 Mon-Thurs but you don’t need to go to those schools to be a part of the program. The full program runs 3-6pm and includes Homework Help, Snack, Open Play and an hour long class from 4-5pm: (Ninja Monday / Flipping Tuesday / Parkour Wednesday / Ninja Thursday). Live farther away or don’t want to do the full program? Totally fine! They also offer the class portion as an option on its own. Learn more at

ftkny (fastrack ids) 1605 Voorhies Ave.,

20 | September 2023 Activities d irectory | Special Advertising Supplement
September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 21 THE AILEY SCHOOL JUNIOR DIVISION Accepting new students for 2023-24 school year First Steps & Bounding Boys (ages 3-6) Creative movement classes Pre-Professional Training Program (ages 7-17) Ballet, modern, West African, and more Growing in Leaps and Bounds OFFICIAL SCHOOL OF ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
Photos by Rosalie

Sheepshead Bay


FasTracKids has been offering award winning enrichment programs for the past 20 years, ranging from preschool to homeschooling help, gifted & talented preparation, tutoring and test prep. Also offering chess and STEAM classes as well as NYS Math & ELA, TACHS and SHSAT prep. FTK believes that every child has their own special gift or talent, and with the proper instruction and reinforcement, every child can achieve their true gifted potential!

g olf v.2

130 Clinton St, Brooklyn

12 Thomas Street- Tribeca

‘The Future of Golf’ is the latest and most fun way you can learn how to play golf in a city setting, where certified coaches will help you improve your game. They have the largest year-round junior program with over 65+ active juniors. The facilities are built with

state-of-the-art simulators that can act as a driving range or give you access to over 200+ courses like Pebble Beach. Golf v.2 will allow you to improve your golf even when it’s raining or snowing outside. Locations are open in Tribeca and Brooklyn. Midtown West opening soon.

Joffrey b allet School

434 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

The Joffrey Ballet School

Children’s and Youth Ballet Programs offer year-round classes for dancers ages 2-18, accompanied with live music. Classes are taught in their West Village and Long Island City studios, founded by Robert Joffrey in 1953. In-person or livestream options available, with performance opportunities each semester. Sign up for a trial class, placement class, or register to reserve your space today!

lingo circle

LingoCircle is an online lan-

guage school providing an innovative approach to language learning. They specialize in connecting bilingual children from around the world. They offer virtual classes in French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and English. LingoCircles classes are small - five students max - to give each student ample attention.Classes include songs, games, stories, and more. Each class is 45-minutes. Classes are on weekdays after school and on weekends; the first lesson is free.

n oel pointer foundation

247 Herkimer St., 1st Fl., Brooklyn 718-230-4825

A non-profit organization inspired by the life and work of the talented violinist Mr. Noel Pointer, founded in 1995. Since then, NPF has served over 35,000 NYC students, enriching their lives through the development of string music education programs for resourced communities

in the metropolitan area. Through professional instruction, performance, and school placement opportunities, NPF enhances a student’s cultural and academic experience.

S kateyogi

Williamsburg, 58 N. 9th Street Prospect Lefferts Gardens, 140 Empire Blvd 718-484-9777

Discover the joy of skateboarding with SKATEYOGI! Conveniently located in Williamsburg and Prospect Lefferts Gardens, SKATEYOGI offers skateboarding classes, camps, private lessons and birthday parties in a fun, creative environment for all ages (Ages 2 to adults). Their small teacher-to-student ratio and ego-free approach make this dynamic activity accessible to everyone. SKATEYOGI classes are taught in an open-level format welcoming absolute beginners to experienced skaters. Skateboard rental is included for students who need one.

22 | September 2023 Activities d irectory | Special Advertising Supplement
Check us out Online! We’re the #1 print & digital lifestyle platform for engaged parents in New York. Visit to check it out and sign up for our weekly newsletters!
September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 23 BMS has been promoting healthy arts, serving the community, and offering fun and affordable classes for everyone for over 100 years. FALL 2023 REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! LEARN MORE AT WWW.BROOKLYNMUSICSCHOOL.ORG Learn more abou t our programs at (3 47 ) 824-0 7 2 1 and everything in between! ONLINE INTER ACTIVE L ANG UAGE PROGR AM for kids and tweens FRENCH SPANISH MANDARIN

Exploring School Options

Advice for finding the perfect educational fit for your child

It may be Back to School time, but choosing a school to send your child to can happen any time throughout the school year. Whether your child is moving on from daycare, elementary, middle school, or simply a better educational fit is needed, searching for one can be a complicated decision. We all worry about whether we’re making the best choices in raising our kids, and one thing most of us fret over is whether our children are getting the best education that suits their needs. In many areas in the country, traditional district public schools may be the best option for kids. But living in the New York metro area, we have an abundance of choices in addition to great public schools, including charter, independent and magnet schools.

While one school option doesn’t necessarily provide a better education than another, each type has pros and cons for every individual family. It’s up to you to determine which school

setting best suits your child’s needs. What are the differences between independent, charter, and magnet schools, and which one is best for your child? Read on to learn more about charter, independent and magnet schools.

Catholic Schools

NYC Catholic Schools prioritize both academic excellence and Catholic values. Students are immersed in an environment that promotes respect, courtesy, and service to others, which are integral to their curriculum. These schools offer a comprehensive range of subjects, including Math, Religion, English Language Arts, History, and Science. Moreover, they have embraced modern technology in the classrooms and introduced STEM programs to foster a well-rounded education.

Recent New York State Education Department Examination results confirm that Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York have once again outperformed

both New York State and New York City schools regarding performance growth.

Charter Schools

The most important thing to understand about a charter school is that it’s a public school – but with fewer regulations. Charter schools are tuition free and receive money from local, state and federal funds.

“Charter schools do not have the same oversight as public schools, but they do need to be funded at least partially by a public government. They can also seek funding elsewhere,” Mary Miele, CEO, Evolved Education Company, explained. “Charter schools can set their own curriculum, but they will be evaluated based on testing, which the public school also gives (the NYS exams in grades 3-8) and so the curriculum does involve a good amount of prep for those exams.”

According to the New York State Education Department, a significant difference between charter schools and traditional public schools is that charter schools often focus on innovative curricula, new approaches to school organization or instruction, or another feature that traditional public schools wouldn’t be able to accomplish without the flexibility given by a charter.

But charter schools need to produce

24 | September 2023
September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 25 At IDEAL, we believe that differentiated learning is the key to academic excellence. We offer a supportive environment where all children are valued and celebrated. Join us for an open house or a personal tour to learn about our unique inclusion mission and the opportunity to receive one of ten IDEAL Scholarships paying 75% of tuition from Grades K-8. Call us at 212-769-1699 x10105 or email BIG NEWS! NYC’s only K-12+ independent inclusion school is now located in the Financial District at 5 Hanover Square A small school that’s BIG on inclusion Now Enrolling Nursery, Pre-K, and K-5! Celebrating 44 Years of Service! Phyl's Academy 3520 Tilden Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11203 718-469-9400 A Community of Passionate, Motivated Learners SPACIOUS 30,000 SQ FT FACILITY 92% HIGH PASSES ON STANDARDIZED TESTS 90% of GRADUATING STUDENTS ACCEPTED INTO INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS AND GIFTED PROGRAMS SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE AFTER SCHOOL & SUMMER PROGRAMS Schedule a tour today! 718-469-9400

strong NYS test results in order to continue their funding, so many are more traditional in their teaching approach and teach toward those tests, Miele said.

Parents can learn more about charter schools, what a charter is and other information at

Independent Schools

Also known as private schools, independent schools are primarily funded by tuition and charitable donations as opposed to taxpayer dollars.

“Typically, independent schools do quite a bit of fundraising, and parents may be tasked with organizing some of it,” Christine Hernandez, early childhood and parenting expert, and founder of Allo Saratoga in New York State, said.

And, their curriculum is not reviewed by a public entity, Miele explained.

The admission process for private schools can vary, but it generally includes:

• Filling out an application

• Visiting the school and doing both student and parent interviews

Explore more

Back to School is in the air, but remember that this is also prime time to plan for your child’s next step in their education.

Most schools are starting their tours and open houses now since enrollment periods often open up just after Labor Day, so check out your options and start marking your calendar!

• Taking an entrance exam, if applicable

• Sending in teacher recommendations and transcripts

• Writing parent and student essays, and submitting videos of the student (for the K process)

Magnet Schools

Magnet schools are NYC Department of Education (DOE) schools. They are tuition-free schools, in part federally funded by competitive Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant awards from the U.S. Department of Education. Magnet schools offer whole-school specialized

thematic programs (theme examples include art, architecture, engineering, civics, leadership, exploration, global conservation, STEM/ STEAM) which incorporate innovative curriculum and enrichment experiences designed to engage and inspire learning.

Magnet schools utilize diversified approaches to teaching which include inquiry and project-based learning with real world connections and authentic application of skills. Partnerships with colleges, universities, professional and community organizations, cultural institutions and Artists in Residency programs, provide professional development opportunities and supplement student and family experiences. The rigorous instructional foundation is supported and enhanced by instructional technology, dedicated spaces for arts and science such as maker-spaces, horticultural labs, broadcast studios, STEM/ STEAM activities, and special programs.

There is an application process for magnet schools, but there is no screening or testing involved in applying. For more information, families should contact info@magnetschools. nyc or visit

AtDillon,weteachthewholechild.Weworkto developachildwhoisalifelonglearner,andto fosterandenhancethenaturalcuriosityinall children.Weseeschoolasaplacetogrowand wonder.Wevaluechildren’snaturalabilityto playasacrucialtoolfortheirgrowthand learning.

26 | September 2023
239 Vanderbilt Ave. • Brooklyn, NY 718.940.5678 Questions? Contact our director, SUSAN STRAUT COLLARD at website Apply Now for 2024-2025 on our website. Families will be invited to enroll based on the date of their application, so applying earlier is better! Join an Upcoming Virtual Open House (all start at 9 am): 9/25/23 10/2/23, 10/16/23, 10/23/23, 10/30/23 11/6/23, 11/13/23, 11/27/23 12/4/23, 12/11/23 1/8/24, 1/22/24 2/5/24 3/4/24


children are loved and supported through their most important and exciting developmental years.

• Founded in 1977

• Serving children ages 2 years through 5 years, that are divided into toddler and primary/mixed age classes.

• Montessori certified teachers

• The school has a total of seven classrooms.

• Each class is led by a team of three teachers, with class sizes appropriate to the ages of the children.

• Operating between the hours of 8:00 am - 3:00 pm with extended day options from 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

• Offering winter, spring, and summer camp

• Enrichments include music, movement, nature company & gardening. With seasonal soccer and drumming!

September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 27 MDS is a warm and welcoming (718) 398- 2322 / 237 Park Pl. Brooklyn, NY 11238 Like us on

New Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

For most women, pregnancy is tough on the body. And for many expectant moms, being at work can add to that discomfort. From uncomfortable seating to inflexible hours, the typical workplace isn’t designed with pregnant women in mind.

But that’s changing, as employers will soon be required to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant women under the new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)

The PWFA was passed by Congress in December 2022 and went into effect Tuesday, June 27, 2023. The federal law, which received bipartisan approval, will require “covered employers” to provide reasonable accommodations to a worker’s limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.

NOTE: The term “covered employers” includes private and public sector employers with at least 15 employees, Congress, federal agencies, employment agencies and labor organizations.

“One of the great things about this law is that it relies on established civil rights laws, so it doesn’t try to recreate things that don’t need to be recreated,” explained Sharyn Tejani, associate legal counsel in the office of legal counsel at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

For example, “covered employers” are the employers who are already covered under other civil rights laws.

“So if you’re covered under one, you’re covered under the other,” Tejani said. “That should make it easy for employers and for workers.”

Protections Under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

The PWFA will include accommodations similar to those for disabled employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but is tailored for pregnant women.

Tejani explained that many of the accommodations under the law cover “some pretty simple things.”

“Like, if your job requires standing all the time, you can ask for a reasonable

accommodation of a stool,” Tejani said. “Lots of pregnant workers need to eat or drink during the day just to keep their body going, so you can ask for accommodations for that.”

Other examples of accommodations for pregnant women at work can include:

• Closer parking spots

• Flexible hours

• Uniforms and safety apparel that fits

• Additional break time

• Leave or time off to recover from childbirth

• Exemption from strenuous activities and/or activities that involve exposure to compounds not safe for pregnancy

• Remote work or telework

According to the EEOC, a pregnant worker doesn’t have to go through a formal process to request these accommodations. They simply have to have a discussion with their employer.

But, it’s important to note, none of these accommodations are automatic.

As Tejani explained, the accommodation can’t create an undue hardship — a significant difficulty — for the employer.

28 | September 2023
in the news

“Basically, if you’re a worker who has something related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition and it makes it more difficult to do your job, you can go to your employer and have a discussion,” Tejani said. “Your employer has to provide reasonable accommodation absent undue hardship.”

Right now, protection for pregnant workers varies state by state.

As Bloomberg Law explained in an article, “Without the PWFA, the legal obligation for an employer to grant reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers has been governed by a patchwork of case law and varying state protections.”

One working mom, who requested to remain anonymous, shared her thoughts on the PWFA. She struggled to get workplace accommodations at a nonprofit organization during her second pregnancy.

“Despite it being illegal to discriminate, I think we all know this happens often,” the mom, who’s from New Jersey, said. “Hopefully this new federal law will add another layer of protection for

pregnant workers needing reasonable accommodations, and we can collectively start seeing these accommodations as a right, not a privilege. Pregnancy should be celebrated. And it’s very hard to do that when employers aren’t always held accountable.”

Other Federal Laws that Apply to Pregnant Workers

In addition to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, these are other federal laws that apply to workers affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions:

Title VII: This protects an employee

from discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. It requires covered employers to treat a worker affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions the same as other workers similar in their ability or inability to work.

ADA: This protects employees from discrimination based on disability. It requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to a person with a disability if it doesn’t cause an undue hardship for the employer. While pregnancy is not a disability under the ADA, some pregnancy-related conditions may be considered disabilities under the law.

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993: This provides covered employees with unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons.

PUMP Act: Broadens workplace protections for employees to express breast milk at work.

For more information about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and similar laws, visit

September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 29
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“Pregnancy should be celebrated. And it’s very hard to do that when employers aren’t always held accountable.”

ask the e xpert

Post-Divorce Parenting

How to co-parent peacefully

Divorce is difficult, and it’s often hardest for children who tend to be caught in the middle. Studies have shown that divorce can have adverse effects on children’s mental health.

There are steps parents can take to coparent with their ex-spouse peacefully and, as a result, keep the mental health of their children in mind during the divorce process and after.

We sat down with Sabrina Shaheen Cronin, family law attorney, family coach and founder and managing partner of The Cronin Law Firm, to talk about the effects of divorce on children’s mental health and how parents can co-parent peacefully, especially over summer vacation.

How can divorce affect children’s mental health?

Evidence suggests that divorce can have a significant impact on the mental health of children and adolescents because of the large life changes that divorce often causes.

“Unfortunately, so many times it’s the result of just the overall disruption in the general family dynamic,” Cronin says.

This impact can manifest itself through things like depressed moods, academic difficulties, disruptive behaviors or anxiety. While some children may not experience any of this, “studies have definitely shown that there is an increased risk for all of those things,” Cronin says.

There’s also some variation in the effects of divorce on children’s mental health across different ages.

Cronin says divorce generally impacts younger children less because they have less recollection of the two parents as one family unit.

“If you’re young, you don’t remember,” Cronin says. “If you’re a teenager, it’s much more difficult.”

What can parents do to mitigate some of these negative effects before they can do

long-term damage?

Healthy co-parenting and communication throughout the divorce process is crucial, Cronin says. Parents should take care to not blame the other parent or openly display hostility because of the subconscious negative impact it could have on their children.

“On a subconscious level, these children think, ‘Okay, if they’re going to throw away the parent, are they going to throw away me?’” Cronin says. “Or, ‘if they hate this parent, I’m half of this parent: are they hating me?’”

It’s also important to remember that resentment and hostility can be expressed in ways that aren’t verbal– and children can pick up on unspoken tension.

“Sometimes, when you don’t even talk, the tension itself is enough to be disruptive,” Cronin says. “That’s extremely uncomfortable for the children.”

Cronin’s advice is to let go of anger or resentment you may feel towards the other

parent and keep discussions open, respectful and neutral.

While this may seem difficult at times, it’s important to stay motivated by the love you have for your children and the best interests of your children, rather than your disdain for your ex-partner.

Not only is this a good way to preserve your children’s mental health, it’s also a good way to keep a strong relationship between yourself and your child as they get older.

“You’re going to have a relationship with the other parent for as long as you have these children because, in my opinion, it goes beyond the 18th year,” Cronin says. “You want to be in your child’s life for the rest of your life, not just until they’re 18.”

Co-parenting can be challenging, especially in cases where the divorce wasn’t amicable. How can parents navigate co-parenting as peacefully as possible in these situations?

When it comes to co-parenting, Cronin

30 | September 2023

says consistency is key.

Try to get on the same page with your coparent about things like bedtimes, discipline and rules about things like grades, homework and electronics. Doing this will give children a sense of structure, and studies have shown that children feel safest when there’s structure.

“A lot of parents think they want to be the fun parent, or they don’t want to have rules,” Cronin says. “But ironically, it’s the home that has the rules where the children want to be long term.”

It’s also important to respect your coparent, especially in front of your children. Regardless of how your marriage may have ended, they are still a parent to your children, and Cronin says it’s important to “respect them for their role in your life and in the children’s lives.”

Remind your children that their other parent still loves them and that they’re still family, even if things look a little different. Even if you don’t have positive feelings towards your former spouse, don’t let them influence how your children see them.

“You want to empower your children with healthy images and healthy feelings of the other parent,” Cronin says. “It takes a very strong person to be able to do that, to set aside their own emotions for the wellbeing of their child.”

Summer vacation can be a point of contention between divorced parents. What are some tips for co-parenting when kids are on summer vacation?

Parents need to be on the same page when it comes to activities for the summer. Discuss expectations for the summer, including things like daycare or camp arrangements, especially if both parents work throughout the summer.

This discussion of expectations also applies to summer rules around the house.

“Does one parent allow the child to be on their devices in their room all day and the other parent can’t stand that?” Cronin says. “There has to be some accountability for the parent.”

As your kids get older, include them in conversations about summer plans.

“The older children are, the more they have a voice,” Cronin says. “They should be able to express how they want to spend their summer, if they’re old enough to do so.”

Just like with co-parenting the rest of the year, your children should be top priority when co-parenting over the summer over any ill will ex-spouses may have between each other.

“There’s no selfish motive in parenting,” Cronin says. “It should all be about what’s in the best interest of the child.”

September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 31
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While this may seem difficult at times, it’s important to stay motivated by the love you have for your children and the best interests of your children, rather than your disdain for your ex-partner.

The Kinfolk App

Changing how kids learn BIPOC history

Ionce attended a mom panel where most speakers were WOC ( women of color.) This panel shared many stories and the history of what Black women experienced during slavery. I had learned about slavery in school, but these stories, which went beyond what a school textbook or my college women’s history class ever sharedfloored me. This was the first I had known about these essential history lessons, and yet decades later, I was learning through something as old as time itself, storytelling.

Our Stories Matter

Many parents know there have been debates and discussions about teaching Black History in schools (Florida, we are looking at you). These discussions centered around critical race theory and diversity, eq uity, and inclusion in education, also known as Critical race theory (CRT.) In my opinion, this is not about being “woke”; this is simply that all students should be learning about America’s narrative, especially the history of Black and Brown people.

This is why Kinfolk, a platform co-founded by Idris Brewster (formerly at Google), matters. Brewster saw the lack of school curricula, cultural institutions, and monuments systematically and intentionally excluding BIPOC histories. Thankfully, this lack of BIPOC lessons may not be happening at your child’s school, but Kinfolk is, in a nutshell, a storytelling app that makes learning about Black and Brown stories either something extra or new. The goal of Kinfolk (with large supporters such as Netflix, Verizon and Google to name a few) is to shift the mindset of a generation and what better way then starting with our youth? Most importantly, the kids will love this part; it does not feel like homework. Students can dive into the platform and learn Black and Brown narratives using augmented reality (AR) experiences. It is designed to keep kids’ interest through an interactive and collaborative experience. Pretty smart. For example, have you heard of Los Angeles-born Beatrice Alva? Neither my boys had not nor had I (and I was born in Los

Angeles, California!). We learned Beatrice “Bea” was a tribal elder of the Gabrieleno/ Tongva people who dedicated her life to learning about her ancestry.

How Kinfolk works

Users can explore captivating narratives of Black icons while remaining engaged in the physical world. Through this interactive platform, students can select a historical figure from a menu, transforming them into augmented reality statues on a life-size scale. Kids can immerse themselves in their monument’s life stories, read their biography, and even delve into their playlists. The platform also offers many additional resources accessible through the Monuments web portal. From informative documents, historical pictures, and captivating

art to enlightening podcasts and hidden treasures, it provides a rich and immersive experience for anyone seeking more profound insight into Black and Brown history.

Kinfolk app can be downloaded on Apple apps for iPhone and an iPad, you can also learn more at

32 | September 2023
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Great Planetariums

The best options for celestial fun in and near New York City

Sometimes stars aren’t at peak visibility—whether it’s due to a storm or the bright New York City lights—but you can still enjoy celestial wonders at local planetariums! Gaze at the night sky even in the middle of the day at one of these locations. (Please note planetarium and observatory hours may differ from museum

hours. We recommend you call planetariums ahead prior to your visit.)

Alice and Leonard Dreyfuss

Planetarium in the Newark Museum

49 Washington St., Newark, NJ 973-596-6550

The first of planetariums built in New Jersey, the Dreyfuss offers a variety of shows, special events, and programs for families to enjoy. Visit the website for the planetarium’s schedule. Tickets are free with

general admission to museum.

Charles and Helen Reichart

Planetarium at the Vanderbilt Museum

180 Little Neck Road, Centerport, Long Island 631-854-5579

The Vanderbilt Planetarium offers seasonal shows and fun, educational programs for family. The Planetarium has diverse programming that includes fulldome films, live star talks, laser shows, concerts, and special events. Check the online schedule for details. The rooftop observatory is open every Friday night, weather permitting, where visitors can examine the night sky through the Van-

34 | September 2023
family fun 8

derbilt’s 16-inch Meade reflecting telescope.

Hayden Planetarium in the American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th St., Upper West Side, Manhattan


The museum offers a variety of celestial programs and shows inside the planetarium. The 429-seat Space Theater, which features a custom-made Zeiss Mark IX Star Projector and a Digital Dome Projection System to display a hyperrealistic view of the planets, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies, uses a scientifically accurate 3D map of the observable universe based on millions of astronomical observations.

Hudson River M useum Planetarium

511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers


The planetarium at the Hudson River Museum has celestial shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30pm, 2pm, and 3:30pm. Some shows are geared toward specific age groups; the schedule can be found on the website.

JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium in the Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center

Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City, Long Island


Check the online schedule to see what shows are offered in the Sky Theater at the time you plan to visit this immersive, all-digital planetarium complete with with newly upgraded pure laser projectors. Prior to each show is a Your Night Sky presentation, taking viewers on a journey of the seasonal sky.

Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium at the Liberty Science Center

222 Jersey City Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ Liberty Science Center’s Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium is touted as the biggest planetarium in America. The space boasts a resolution of 88 million pixels, a lighting system that can produce over 281 trillion colors, and speakers capable of producing 30,000 watts of digital sound. Check out the 89-foot full-dome view of the night sky and distant galaxies, available as an add-on to

your general admission ticket to the center.

New Jersey State Museum’s Planetarium

205 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 609-292-6464

This planetarium is fully upgraded with an Ultra-High Resolution 8K projection system and specially designed reclining seats. Shows are offered to the public Saturday and Sunday from September-June. Weekday shows are held for school or community groups with advanced reservations. During the summer months, winter break, and spring break, weekday shows are available to the public.

Observatory and Planetarium at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center

39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford, CT 203-322-1646

The planetarium is currently closed for public hours but available for school programs, scout groups, special events and private parties. On selected Friday nights a special series of Astronomy Nights is available for kids ages 5 and up.

September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 35

Exploring the Best Childcare That Fits Your Needs

Selecting a caregiver for your child is one of the most important decisions many families will make. Whether you need childcare because you are returning to work, craving some time to yourself, or spending time with your significant other, you will want to find the ideal caretaker for your child. Below are a few tips to help you navigate the childcare search:

choose the path that best suits your family’s needs

Many childcare possibilities exist for you to consider, and of course, there are pluses and minuses to each until you find the right fit. Remember that you are in the driver’s seat and can choose the path that best suits your family’s needs—hiring a caregiver or picking a daycare to look after your child is a very personal decision. Every family has its own dynamics and unique views on parenting. Feel secure and confident in your childrearing choices.

b e patient

Take your time with the childcare search. Finding the ideal person or daycare to care for your little one will take time and patience. It is important to be prepared and detailed in your search. Also, discovering the ideal caretaker, nursery, or daycare for your child requires some research.

l ay groundwork

Laying the foundation for building the ideal childcare situation is critical.

Formulating a clear description of your childcare needs now will save you future frustration. You can zero in on exactly what type of situation you need to ensure your household runs smoothly and happily.

The ideal or “perfect” childcare situation depends on you and how specific you are in recognizing and expressing your needs and how your family spends its time. It is important that before you start your childcare search, you set aside time to sit down and ponder or list your needs.

Try to interview a childcare candidate or go on a daycare/preschool tour; most daycares set time aside for new families to check out their spaces, as they also want you to be a good fit in their classrooms.

b e reasonable

Be aware of what assistance you are asking for, and make sure it is reasonable. To put it bluntly, if you are not willing or able to do it all, then your childcare provider should not be expected to either.

Childcare providers are not superheroes. They are humans who have strengths, weaknesses, and feelings, just like you.

u nderstand that your childcare situation will evolve

As your child or family dynamics change, your childcare needs will change. These childcare needs will constantly evolve as your child blossoms through the stages of life. It is essential to realize that you are not pigeonholed into the first childcare situation you created at a specific time.

A situation that works for your newborn child will likely need to be scrapped, tweaked, or revised as your child starts school. You may have to realize that expecting the unexpected and being nimble is crucial to formulating the right childcare

situation at any given time.

g o with your gut

You may luck out and hire the first nanny or enroll at the first daycare you visit. Everyone has a different experience, but when dedicated to the childcare search, always go with your gut and trust your instincts.

New York-based working mother Kristen Duca and her husband are the parents of two girls. She is the author of “Ultimate Nanny: How to Find, Interview, and Manage the Most Important Person You Will Ever Hire – Your Child’s Nanny,” available on now.

local option

abc child center

109 Nassau Ave, Greenpoint-Brooklyn, NY


ABC is a family-owned and operated daycare center in North Brooklyn that has been helping children thrive since 1993. The program offers a variety of ageappropriate activities for children from 3 months to 4 years of age that are designed to stimulate their minds, bodies,and creativity. ABC believes that every child is unique and deserves to be celebrated, and they create a nurturing environment where children feel safe to take risks, explore their interests, and build confidence.

36 | September 2023
September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 37 Celebrating 30 years in Child Care! (718) 389-9004 | infants toddlers preschool Now enrolling for 2023-2024! | SINCE 1993 109 Nassau Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222 Experienced, friendly teacher with MA in Music Student recitals twice a year • Six foot concert grand piano Near 2, 3, 4 & 5 Subways Call me and let’s talk about what you or your child would like to learn Call Beth Anderson-Harold: 718-636-6010 or Email: Piano Lessons For Everyone 135 Eastern Parkway across from the Brooklyn Museum provides expertly curated resources for all parents in the New York area, including our most popular feature — our mom-generated nanny board — the best online source for parents to find vetted (by other parents), experienced nannies and childcare providers who want to work in New York City, Westchester, Long Island and Northern New Jersey. Visit; we can’t wait to see you there! is now part of

The Malin

A luxury co-working haven

Many parents know that during the beginning of the pandemic our work lives went from everyday humbug to drama Parents went from working five-day weeks to hanging with our new and considerably younger co-workers. Gone was office cooler gossip- our new colleagues, okay, our kidshad to be schooled, have cafeteria time, be tutored on common core math, etc. Fashion, what fashion? There wasn’t any time for style. While we tried to dress work appropriately for Zooms, that soon gave way to sweats and Willie Nelson tees.

Flash forward to the present; some of us are back at the office; others are working hybrid or fully remote. And as we ship the kids off to school this month, many of us are aching to move away from the home desk life. It’s not just about a change of scenery; it is about being around adults, creativitybasically, we want a new work vibe.

Prime location

This is why when photographing our September cover, we gravitated to The Malin, a work-focused members club that champions luxury design and customizable services. In short, they get the modern worker, including working and stay-at-home parents who seek a space that supports their creative endeavors. This enables working parents to do their work around their family obligations.

Not just a co-working space

The Malin is more than just a physical space; it’s a support system that centers its attention on you —the person who manages to juggle it all. As soon as you walk in, you enter a zen-like space; before settling in, you can detour to the magnificent kitchen—a nook that exudes beauty and comfort—and pour yourself a refreshing ice-cold brew. There are seating spots, dedicated desks, private offices, and meeting rooms. This is a workspace, so people are going about their work. If you need privacy, the space has you covered with phone booths designed for video conferencing, ensuring your privacy and uninterrupted focus. And if that’s not enough, they’ve got alternative workspaces like the ‘Library’ where you can quietly work away.

Hey Alexa, can you get me an assistant

One of the standout features at The Malin is the presence of an onsite Executive Assistant. This priceless resource is ready to lend a hand with various administrative duties, from filing expense reports to drafting meticulous

meeting minutes and organizing presentation materials. But their support extends beyond work-related tasks—they assist with your day-to-day lifestyle needs, whether running errands, booking travel arrangements, securing reservations, or even indulging in a little personal shopping.

Location, location, location

The Malin has three locations in New York City- Soho, West Village, and Williamsburg. We shot our cover at their Williamsburg location on the ninth floor at The William Vale hotel. The warm building is designed with a stylish blend of texture and design. It is also conveniently located not far from the NYC Ferry, the G and L train lines, and, of course, is right next door to some delicious food like the Leuca located at the hotel and other delicious eateries in this prime location.

The Malin Williamsburg

109 N.12th St, 9th Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11249

718- 407-1198

38 | September 2023
Photos by Lesley Unruh

2023-2024 NYC School Calendar

s eptember 7 First day of school

s eptember 14 evening parent-Teacher Conferences for elementary schools and pre-K Centers

s eptember 21 evening parent-Teacher Conferences for middle schools and D75 schools

s eptember 25 Yom Kippur, schools closed

s eptember 28 evening parent-Teacher Conferences for high schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools

October 9 italian Heritage / indigenous peoples’ Day, schools closed

November 2 afternoon and evening parent-Teacher Conferences for elementary schools; students in these schools dismissed three hours early.

November 7 election Day, students do not attend school

November 9 afternoon and evening parent-Teacher Conferences for middle schools and D75 schools; students in these schools dismissed three hours early.

November 16 afternoon and evening parent-Teacher Conferences for high schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools

November 17 afternoon and evening parent-Teacher Conferences for high schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools; students in these schools dismissed three hours early.

November 23–24 Thanksgiving Recess, schools closed

Dec. 25–Jan. 1 Winter Recess, schools closed

January 15 Rev. Dr. Martin l uther King Jr. Day, schools closed

January 23–26 Regents a dministration

January 29 professional Development Day; no classes for students attending high schools and 6-12 schools, all other students attend school

January 30 s pring s emester begins

February 19–23 Midwinter Recess, schools closed

March 7 afternoon and evening parent-Teacher Conferences for elementary schools and pre-K Centers; students in these schools dismissed three hours early.

March 14 afternoon and evening parent-Teacher Conferences for middle schools and D75 schools; students in these schools dismissed three hours early.

March 21 evening parent-Teacher Conferences for high schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools

March 22 afternoon parent-Teacher Conferences for high schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools; students in these schools dismissed three hours early.

March 29 –a pril 1 easter Weekend, schools closed a pril 10 eid al-Fitr, schools closed a pril 22–26 s pring Recess (including passover), schools closed

May 9 evening parent-Teacher Conferences for elementary schools and pre-K Centers

May 16 evening parent-Teacher Conferences for middle schools and D75 schools

May 23 evening parent-Teacher Conferences for high schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools

May 27 Memorial Day, schools closed

June 6 a nniversary Day / Chancellor’s Conference Day for staff development; students do not attend.

June 7 Clerical Day; no classes for students attending 3K, pre-K, elementary schools, middle schools, K-12 schools, and standalone D75 programs

June 14–26 Regents a dministration (excluding June 19, when schools are closed)

June 19 Juneteenth, schools closed

June 26 l ast day of school for students

September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 39
✂ Clip & save!

Apple Picking

Summer is coming to a close and apple picking will soon be in full gear for 2023. With school starting, what better way to spend your weekend then by heading to one of these farms for apple picking? Pick fresh apples and make classic apple cider, pie, and more! Many of these farms also offer attractions like playgrounds, farm stand markets and events, making them a great choice for a full day of family fun.

One Hour and Under Demarest Farms

244 Wiermus Road, Hillsdale, NJ 07642


(40 min from Midtown)

Starting Sep. 2, you will be able to pick some delicious apples! Step foot in the orchards and start picking delicious apples for your seasonal pies, ciders and more. Some of their tasty apples include Cameo, Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Mutsu (Crispin), Red Delicious, Snap Dragon and Zestar. $8 per person (age 2 and over), which includes free parking and entrance to the apple orchard and access to an on-site petting zoo and playground. Demarest Farms is still using a reservation system for apple picking this year, so be sure to make a reservation in their system ahead of time.

Hillview Farms

223 Meyersville Road, Gillette, NJ


(50 min from Midtown)

Make the trip to Hillview Farms to pick seasonal apples. You can’t go wrong with the classic red apple, but make sure to take home a few other delicious options, such as Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Jonathan, Macoun, McIntosh and Stayman/Winesap. Open 9 am to 6 pm (field closed to the public at 5 pm), daily.

One Hour to One Hour and a Half

Dr. Davies Farm

306 Rt-304, Congers, NY 10920 845-268-7020

(1 hr 10 min from Midtown)

Warm apple pie days are here! Visit Dr.

Davies Farm starting on Sep. 3 to pick apples for all your delicious fall desserts. You will be able to pick from 5,000 trees, with 27 different varieties of apples, spanning over 65 acres. Bring the whole family (even the dog!) for a great outing that everyone will enjoy for the fall season. Keep in mind the farm is cash only, so come prepared if you’re planning on buying anything from the farmstand while you’re there. Open 10 am to 4 pm, daily.

Riamede Farm

122 Oakdale Road, Chester, NJ 07930


(1 hr 20 min from Midtown)

With 40 types of apples, Riamede Farm has opened its apple picking! Get a taste of their ripening apples, or check out their other varieties as they begin to ripen over the course of the fall season. Farm Passes are required for entry and should be purchased prior to arrival. The farm expects to open for the 2023 season on August 1st. Open 9 am to 4:30 pm, daily.

Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard

130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem, NY 10560


(1 hr 20 min from Midtown)

Be part of the excitement at Harvest Moon for their biggest time of the year. This family-owned and operated apple orchard is welcoming their main harvest with a variety of delicious apples. Bring the family to visit the orchards for apple picking as well as their farm store that has farm-raised meats and dairy products. Open 9 am to 5 pm, daily.

Stuart’s Fruit Farm

62 Granite Springs Road, Granite Springs, NY 10527


(1 hr 20 min from Midtown)

Since 1828, Stuart’s Fruit Farm has been a proud family-operated farm. Starting Sep. 6, bring your family along for the beginning of the apple picking season where there will be an array of apples to choose from! There’s over 20 varieties of apples to choose from spread across the months of September and October. Open 10 am to 5 pm, daily.

Alstede Farms

1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester, NJ 07930 908-879-7189

(1 hr 20 min from Midtown)

Alstede Farms invites your family to pick their crisp, seasonal apples for the fall season. Kids will be thrilled to see and learn how food grows as they pick their own for a healthy snack. Bring home this delicious fruit for making traditional homemade apple pie, cider and delightful pastries. Choose from over 50 different varieties. Don’t forget to check out the other fun activities offered on the farm, such as the tractor-drawn wagon ride, seeing the sunflower field and more! Tickets must be purchased online, in advance, utilizing time slots. Tickets become available 24 hours in advance.

Apple Ridge Orchards

101 Jessup Road, Warwick, NY 10990 845-987-7717

(1 hr 30 min from Midtown)

Kick off the fall season by visiting the most scenic and rustic pick-your-own farm. Just 60 miles from New York City, you can pick from a variety of 20 different apples throughout the Hudson and Warwick Valley starting Sep. 2. Have a fun and educational experience as you spend time at the orchards apple picking. They even have dwarf trees that little ones can reach! No reservations are needed, but admission is cash only. Open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and all holidays.

40 | September 2023
family day out

Lawrence Farms Orchards

306 Frozen Ridge Road, Newburgh, NY 12550


(1 hr 30 min from Midtown)

Take a drive to Lawrence Farms Orchards and make it a family day out! Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the farm and have a blast picking a variety of apples such as Ginger Gold, Zestar, Ozark Gold and Gala available now. Open 9 am to 4 pm, daily. Admission is $7 per person Monday through Thursday and $10 per person on weekends and holidays. Children under 2 years old are free. Season passes available.

Barton Orchards

63 Apple Tree Lane, Poughquag, NY 12570


(1 hr 30 min from Midtown)

Switch up your typical weekend plans and take a family car ride to Barton Orchards. These apples are known for being the best in the area with over 120 acres of apple trees to pick from. Apple picking goes from August 12 through November. As the season moves through, a variety of different apples will be available for picking, such as Early Golds in August, Jona macs in September, and Ida Reds in October. And, to make sure that you have the freshest apples, Barton’s Orchards rotates picking areas around the farm! In order to pick apples, you must purchase a Barton apple bag that day. Open 11 am to 6 pm on Sundays to Thursdays and 11 am to 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, from August 12 through November.

Masker Orchards

45 Ball Road, Warwick, NY 10990


(1 hr 30 min from Midtown)

Masker Orchards is a go-to for family-friendly apple picking in the Hudson Valley region (you can even bring the dog). Drive right to the trees with your family and then get lost in the massive orchard picking a variety of apples (picking poles are also available) and taking in the views and foliage. With 14 varieties of apples ripening throughout the season at Masker Orchards, you’re sure to find all of your family’s favorites. To help make sure of this, they put together an approximate ripening guide. Admission, parking and bags are free and apples are $33.95 per bag (but you can eat all the apples you wish as you pick for free). Apple picking season this year starts the first week of September and goes into mid October. Open 9 am to 5 pm, daily.

Fishkill Farms

9 Fishkill Farm Road, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533


(1 hr 30 min from Midtown)

Fishkill Farms has been part of the Morgenthau family for over 100 years and invites your family for the apple picking season. This 270-acre apple orchard offers a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year that you can pick. Stop by for their apple picking season in the months of September and October. Open 9 am to 4:45 pm on Tuesdays to Sundays, by reservation only.

Over an Hour and a Half Apple Dave’s Orchard

82 Four Corners Road, Warwick, NY 10990


(1 hr 40 min from Midtown)

Start your apple picking at Apple Dave’s Orchards and take home a variety of apples like McIntosh, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Gala, Empire, Jonagold, Rome Beauty, Red Delicious, Macoun, Fuji and Golden Delicious. Visit their farm store where they have fresh-pressed apple cider, apple donuts, pies, flowers and seasonal items. Admission is $5 per adult and children over five.

Harbes Family Farm

5698 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 631-683-8388

(2 hrs from Midtown)

The star attraction at the 78-acre Harbes Family Farm is the beautiful apple orchard. Featuring 27 different varieties, the orchard uses an innovative trellis system to grow apples that are within reach of even the smallest of hands. On weekends and holidays they offer pig races, singing hayride tours, and more. Plus, Harbes Barnyard Adventure (a paid admission area of Harbes Family Farm) has eight acres of attractions where you can discover farm animals as well as enjoy the Gnome Hedge Maze, trike track, Jumbo Jumpers, and so much more.

Bishop’s Orchards

1355 Boston Post Road, Guilford, CT 06437


(2 hrs from Midtown)

Bishop’s Orchards takes pride in growing the highest quality fruits from their family to yours. They grow over 20 varieties of apples that suit all your needs for cooking, gifts, or a quick snack on the go. At their pick-your-own locations, they offer 8 quart bags for $22 and 1/2 bushel bags for $40. Bishop’s Orchards also has an ice cream stand, featuring delicious flavors, sundaes, ice cream sandwiches and their specialty, the Bishop’s Blitz!

Hank’s PumpkinTown

240 Montauk Hwy, Water Mill, NY 11976 631-726-4667

(2 hrs from Midtown)

Hank’s PumpkinTown is well-known to families for its amazing apple picking and over 30 acres of fall family fun! It costs $30 to pick one peck (about 10 pounds of apples), after you’ve had your fill of picking, wander over to the wooden playground, maze park, face painting, and gem mining. The Market has freshly baked pies, cookies, cupcakes, candy apples and ever-popular cider donuts.

September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 41

Alyce in Laughland

Alyce Chan (better known as @momcomnyc) on the roundabout path that led her to comedy, how she carves out time for her creative work, and why her weirdness is her superpower

Let me paint a picture for you: It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Not only was it not raining, but the sun was shining and it wasn’t too hot yet. I was sitting at the table on my patio drinking a cup of hot coffee. And though I was physically alone (read: no kids), virtually I was in great conversation with comedian Alyce Chan. You might know her as @momcomnyc, where her Reels about motherhood and parenting young children are comedy gold. Alyce was telling me about the round about path that led her to comedy, how she carves out moments for her creative work, and why her weirdness is her superpower. As a mom of two (including a newborn) the fact that I was enjoying a hot cup of coffee on a sunny day with someone like Alyce was downright idyllic. There’s nothing that puts me at ease quite like commiserating with another mom about the ups and downs of motherhood. Just as I felt my shoulders relaxing, as I shook off the exhaustion from the middle-of-thenight feedings, all of a sudden the door to my kitchen opened and a little voice from behind me interrupted our chat. “Mama, I have to go poop.” I looked at Alyce and we both laughed.

CP: I have to go poop. I mean, is that perfect material for you or what?

AC: Totally. I love it. I love that you’re in the thick of it. I’m a little out of it now, I don’t have to wipe. We just have to remind them.

CP: Yeah, I feel like that’s the next hurdle of her independence. I tell her she can go anywhere and do anything in life if she can wipe her own butt.

AC: Oh, I love that motto. Survival skills for sure.

CP: So, tell me about your family.

AC: I have two boys who were fighting horrendously this morning, nine and six years old. We live in the suburbs and my husband

works from home. I was born in California and moved to Canada when I was a baby, so I identify as a Canadian. Then I moved to New York. It was supposed to be a one-year stint, then it became 18 years. So I’m stuck here.

CP: How did you get your start in comedy? How did @momcomnyc come to be?

AC: I studied economics and I thought I’d go into either business or accounting or whatever. Then I worked at a bank for five years, and my parents were proud of that. And then I quit to do a one year intensive school in graphic design, web design and filmmaking. I moved to New York for a graphic design job, and then took acting classes. I was always kind of a lazy actor—I took acting classes, and I would do headshots, but only mail out like five or 10. You’re supposed to mail out hundreds to different agencies. But I also knew I’m in my late 20s, I’m Asian, no one’s going to hire me as the star of a movie or a TV show. I’d just be cast for commercials and that’s not my dream, so I quit acting school but I started doing improv comedy. I loved comedy, but I wasn’t good at improv. Someone told me to try standup instead, so I took a class at Caroline’s, at Gotham’s Comedy Club, and Comedy Cellar.

CP: So did your content change from those first open mics?

AC: I was wearing my baby. I started doing jokes about my husband, and about having two kids, about the babies. As you know, there’s so much content, so much material. Very soon all that old material took a backseat because that wasn’t me anymore. These shows were for parents so now my jokes have to relate to them. It forced me to really be present about my life. How can I make it funny and make fun of myself. For two years I went on every month, and it became a sold out thing. The comics I had in the show were amazing. They were always available because no one’s doing comedy at 10 in the morning, right? Comics that were on Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman,

HBO, they all said yes. It was perfect for everybody. And then the pandemic hit, we moved to the suburbs and it was over. That’s when I started my Instagram. Just write some jokes, do some memes. And then the woman behind @SnarkyBreeders asked me to join a shared group. I was very suspicious, I didn’t know what it was. But she shared one post and then my account started growing. Then other Instagram moms start sharing my stuff. And then after maybe two years @ScaryMommy asked me to create content for them. The pandemic forced me to do Reels, that’s when I started to create videos. I was trapped in a house, what else can I do to keep sane? I started making fun of remote learning, making fun of my husband working from home, just doing stupid silly skits. And it took off from there.

CP: Do you have any advice for parents when it comes to pursuing a creative field. Even if it’s not a profession and it’s just a hobby, just a creative outlet.

AC: Such a good question. I feel like first and foremost is to really get time to yourself. I know it’s a cliche but fill your bucket. Seriously, if you don’t have your bucket filled and you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not going to know what you want in terms of your career, passion or even hobbies. Physically, I feel like you need to leave the house. You can’t force your family to leave the house, but you can get yourself to the train station. Take a walk, get in the car. Sometimes I’ll go grocery shopping and I end up in the parking lot for 40 minutes getting a lot done.

CP: That’s a great tip, even though it’s kind of sad (laughs).

AC: Oh, it’s so sad. But hey, you take whatever you can get. And enjoy every moment when you’re by yourself because you’re needed and wanted as soon as you walk in the house. The kids, they sense that you’re there. Even when you go to the bathroom, that’s not your alone time. No, you need to go to a public

42 | September 2023

bathroom to get time. You need to drive to the mall, get into a public bathroom stall and then have your alone time in peace.

CP: (laughs) Set up your station and work.

AC: Yeah, exactly. Get a stall, that’s your co-working space now.

CP: I love that you referred to filling a bucket instead of filling a cup. Because I feel thinking of it as a cup, like it’s this pathetic little thing that we only get this much . I love the

idea of thinking of it as a bucket to fill, a giant bucket. A lot of your videos make fun of parenting in the 80s or 90s versus parenting now. I’m curious about your take on the concept of back to school. How has it changed from when we were kids to now?

AC: You know what? You just inspired me to make a Reel and that’s how it happens.

CP: I feel honored.

CP: Comedy is a creative career. How do you

foster that same creative spirit in your kids?

AC: I really try to let them see that side of me that’s always been labeled weird. When I was a kid, I was called weird and it did a lot of damage to me mentally and emotionally. But as soon as I became a mother, especially once I turned 40, I was just like, Who gives a shit about what other people think? That weirdness is really what makes you stand out from everybody else. I want them to know that if they’re ever called out about anything that makes them different, that they can embrace it. They see me be really stupid and silly and weird. I’ll dance in front of them and be really goofy. They’ve seen my videos, they understand what I do somewhat. Even my nine year old, I could sense he’s very creative, so sometimes I ask him for an idea, a concept that’s funny. But he needs incentive so I pay him.

CP: I love that. How do you think your “weirdness” and your creativity are linked?

AC: Being called weird will still triggers thoughts and feelings I had when I was a kid. But it no longer gets to me nor do I feel ashamed. Now, I really do embrace it because I truly believe that’s what makes me stand out as a comedian. Weird means non-conventional and not ordinary. Who wants to be boring? People describe people being weird when they can’t quite pinpoint what it is, but they know that person is different. Being weird got me noticed by popular parenting and online platforms, Scary Mommy, Vogue, PureWow just to name a few. They appreciated the comedy I was delivering. It was fresh and something new they hadn’t seen. If you’ve been called weird, it means there’s something unique about you. You have to find out what that is, harness it and express that in some art form. For me, having unique perspectives even on the most mundane things can be gold for comedy.

CP: What’s your advice for a parent whose kid comes home saying they were called weird at school?

AC: The first thing I would say is, “Wow I’m so glad they noticed you are different and not ordinary like everybody else.” Then I would ask how they felt. I think if anyone called my kids weird I’d want to hear from them what differences they think they have that makes them stand out. I would tell them it’s a good thing because that’s what makes you YOU. No one wants to be the same as everybody else. That’s boring.

This story was edited for clairy and brevity; read the entire cover story at

September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 43
Photo by Yumi Matsuo


bR oo K lyn

new york Junior carnival 2023

wHen : Saturday, Sept. 2, 8 am – 3 pm

wHere: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy, Park Slope

ageS: All

wHat: Celebrate the West Indian American Day Carnival at this kids event featuring live performances, Junior King & Queen and more. want to go?: $10. carnival. nyc

kids art class

wHen : Sundays, 12pm, ongoing

wHere: Anyone Comics, 1216 Union Street, South Slope

ageS: 8 – 13

wHat: This art class teaches the fundamentals of comics creation including character design, shading, page layouts, and more, with indie comic creator Raymond Salvador. want to go?: $15.

citizen Science fishing clinics

wHen : Saturday, Sept. 9, 10am–1pm.

wHere: Pier 5 – Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Heights

ageS: 5 – 8

wHat: Learn how to bait a hook, drop a line, and maybe even reel up a fish! want to go?: Free.

the rock and roll playhouse plays the music of bruce Springsteen for kids back to School bash

wHen : Sunday, Sept. 10, 12:30 pm

wHere: Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg

ageS: All

wHat: Start off the school

year right with the music of Bruce Springsteen.

want to go?: $16. (718) 963–3369,

family Discovery weekends

wHen : Starting Sept. 16, Saturdays and Sundays, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, through Oct. 29.

wHere: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Ave., Prospect Heights

ageS: All

wHat: Explore nature through hands-on stations throughout the garden’s meadow, woodland, and marsh habitats. want to go?: $12-$18; free

for members and children younger than 12.

brooklyn night market

wHen : Monday, Sept. 25, 4 –10 pm.

wHere: Industry City, 220 36th St., Sunset Park

ageS: All

wHat: Celebrate local cuisine and culture along with live performances and various allfamily activities.

want to go?: Free admission.

Hot wheels monster trucks live glow party

wHen : Saturday, Sept. 30,

12:30 – 2:30 pm & 7:30 – 9:30 pm.

wHere: Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill ageS: All

wHat: Experience the thrill of watching your favorite Hot Wheels Monster Trucks in the DARK with a dazzling dance party, spectacular laser light shows and Hot Wheels toy giveaways.

want to go?: Tickets start at $36.73. hotwheelsmonstertruckslive. com

mA nh AttA n

Summer on the Hudson:

44 | September 2023
t he Brooklyn night market lights up industry city on s eptember 25.

west Side county fair

wHen : Sunday, Sept. 10, 1–6pm

wHere: Pier I in Riverside Park South, West 70th Street, Upper West Side

ageS: All

wHat: Enjoy a full day of county fair magic with live bands, sideshow performers, carnival rides and games, local food, vendors, cotton candy, and more!

want to go?: Free.

table of Silence project


wHen : Monday, Sept. 11, 8:05am

wHere: Lincoln Center, Josie Robertson Plaza, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Lincoln Square

ageS: All

wHat: This annual performance commemorates the loss of life and honors the bravery of all individuals affected by acts of terror, war and oppression of freedom.

want to go?: Free.

the feast of San gennaro

wHen : Sept. 14-24, see website for complete schedule.

wHere: Mulberry Street, Little


ageS: All

wHat: Head to Little Italy for this iconic event celebrating Italian culture and traditions.

want to go?: Free.

Queen S

nyc unicycle festival


wHen : Saturday, Sept. 2, 12 – 5 pm

wHere: Seven Gables Playground, Oceania St. & 210th St., Oakland Gardens

ageS: All

wHat: This annual event offers a learn-to-ride area, unicycle demos, games and relays. want to go?: Free.

Queens county fair

wHen : Sept. 8, 6 – 9 pm; Sept. 9 & 10, 11 am – 6 pm.

wHere: Queens County Farm Museum, 75-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks

ageS: All

wHat: Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Fair with pie eating and corn husking contests, hayrides, carnival rides, midway games, and rides.

want to go?: $15-$70. (718) 347–3276,

apples & Honey Day

wHen : Sunday, Sept. 10, 12 – 4 pm

wHere: Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing

ageS: All

wHat: Fill your day with themed crafts, apples and honey tastings, meet a beekeeper, an more.

want to go?: Included with admission: $2-$6; free for

children 3 and younger and members.

bR onx

Dig! plant! grow! the three Sisters

wHen : Sept. 12-Oct. 6, Tuesdays-Saturdays, 1:30–5:30pm, Sundays and Monday Holidays, 10am–5:30pm

wHere: New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd. Bronx

ageS: All

wHat: Learn about corn, squash and beans—the Three Sisters—and the “fourth sister,” sunflowers, in our own garden and in Native American traditions and take home a seed craft.

want to go?: $4-$35; free for members and children younger than 2. (718) 817–8700,

pumpkin nights

wHen : Sept. 28-Oct. 29, Thursdays – Sundays, 6–10pm

wHere: Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx ageS: All

wHat: This ALL NEW nighttime family Halloween event features an animalthemed illuminated jack o’lantern trail, games and treats.

want to go?: $34.95; $24.95 ages 3-12; free for children 2 and younger.

September 2023 | Brooklyn Family 45 SEPt EMBER calendar
t he hot Wheels m onster trucks l ive Glow Party rolls into the Barclays center on s eptember 30. t he Feast of san Gennaro runs s eptember 14 to 24 in manhattan’s l ittle italy.
46 | September 2023 Don’t miss out! ParentMap’s ParentEd Talks series returns in September with a tremendous lineup of expert speakers who will help boost your parenting IQ. Topics include tips for raising technology-savvy kids in a screen-obsessed world; deepening connection with our partners and children; fostering the key traits and habits that are predictors of children’s success and good health — and much more. Don’t miss out! One quick registration gains you access to the entire lineup. Register now: Here are the first 6 talks of all-star speakers and topics Parent smarter, not harder! 13 can’t-miss talks for parents
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