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
September 2023 | Queens Family 3 C OLUMBIA U NIVERSITY T EACHERS C OLLEGE A FFILIATE S CHOOL Buckley Country Day School Opening The Eyes And Awakening The Mind SCAN TO SIGN UP! 2 I.U. Willets Road, Roslyn, NY • 516-627-1910 OPEN HOUSE P RE -N URSERY - G RADE 8 Sunday October 29 at 2:00 P.M. Wednesday November 8 at 9:00 A.M. OUSE PEN G
Photo: Yumi Matsuo | yumimatsuo.com
Cover Location: The Malin Williamsburg | themalin.co/williamsburg
Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | buffysaintmarie.com
Cover story written by: Cris Pearlstein | crispearlstein.com
Produced by: Donna Duarte-Ladd
4 NewYorkFamily.com | September 2023 Septembe R 2023 NewYorkFamily.com contents fe Atures 20 | activities The many benefits of after-school programs 26 | i n the n ews The new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act 30 | education NYC School Calendar 34 | 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 | education Advice for finding the perfect educational fit for your child 18 | Health The FDA has approved RSV shots for infants 28 | family fun 8 great planetariums in and near NYC 32 | family Day o ut Time to go apple picking! fA mily fun
the fun events and activities for September d irectories
| activities listings on tH e cover
pg. 34 pg. 20 pg. 32 pg. 36 pg. 28
September 2023 | Queens Family 5 TIME FOR TENNIS! ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN IN QUEENS FOR FALL SESSION Play your way from beginner to recreational to competitive tennis player! At Roosevelt Island Racquet Club – an easy subway, ferry or bus ride! Kids get on the courts & love it! With Advantage Tennis Programs Find out more at www.advantagejuniorprograms.com AGES 4 & UP GET IN THE GAME! AGES 7 & UP PLAY & COMPETE! MANHATTAN PLAZA RACQUET CLUB NE W YORK TENNIS CLUB ROOSEVELT ISLAND RACQUET CLUB QUICKSTART 212.594.0554 718.239.7919 212.935.0250 646.884.9644 CUSTOMIZED FOR AGE, ABILITY & FUN GROUP & INDIVIDUAL LESSONS & COMPETITION
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 https://www.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/ children-with-special-healthcare-needs.page, 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 | Queens 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 20). 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 32)— 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 36.)
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 34). 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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e vent S manager: Shara Levine
r eporter: Barbara Russo
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partner SH ip manager S : Lauren Alperin, Lauren Anchin, Joan Bergman, Mary Cassidy, Suzanne Cirigliano, Chris Cunnington, Lori Falco, Shelli Goldberg-Peck, LynnMarie Hanley, Lisa Herlihy, Janine Mulé, Cara Roteman, Nina Spiegelman, Gwen Tomaselli
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eD itor S at large:
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8 NewYorkFamily.com | September 2023 editor’s note Share your feedback and ideas about family life in New York! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tag us at #newyorkfamily get i N touch
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100-00 Beach Channel Drive
Rockaway Park, N.Y. 11694
Denise Harper-Richardson, Principal (718) 634-1970
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Thursday October 26, 2023
Uniform required for all students
Wednesday November 15, 2023
Saturday November 18, 2023
ASD NEST information session for MS and HS students 11:00 am.
Uniform required for all students
Middle School students should use code 262S on the Middle School Choice Application.
Thursday October 26, 2023
Uniform required for all students
Wednesday November 15, 2023
Saturday November 18, 2023
ASD NEST information session for MS and HS students 11:00 am.
Uniform required for all students
High School students use code 97X (College Prep) or 97A (Research, Technology and Robotics) on the High School Application.
MIDDLE SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS
• Sports - Dance, Soccer, Lacrosse, Basketball, Flag Football, Tennis, Baseball, Volleyball, Girls Volleyball, Boys Baseball & Basketball
• Millennium After School Program
• After School Academic Enrichment
• Summer Bridge Program
• Community Service Projects
• Farm Trip
• Gymnastics & Cheerleading
• Marine Biology and Oceanography
• Robotics and Engineering
HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS
• 99% Graduation Rate
• 100% Of Students Accepted To Colleges
• Advanced Placement Courses
• College Now, Internships
• PSAL Sports - Baseball, Basketball, Football Volleyball, Tennis, Track, Lacrosse
• 9th Grade Crew Camping Trip
• Studio Art, Chorus, Instrumental & Marching Band
• Computer Technology, Performing Arts
• Marine Biology and Oceanography
• Robotics and Engineering
Registration Preferred to attend the Open House at www.cvsr.info
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Where your child’s education is secure with us...
Keeping Yourself Healthy at Backto-School Time
6 smart health tips for parents trying to keep it all together
By Donna Duarte-LaDD
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 NewYorkFamily.com | September 2023
September 2023 | Queens Family 11 www.ComprehendTheMind.com 718-441-0166 Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a renowned and widely sought expert in the ﬁeld of mental health and neuropsychology, leads the clinical team at CCPS. Our doctors are trained to help not only the child but their ecosystem in supporting their needs. Well-being, emotional and academic, goes hand in hand, and we can guide you to both. Please call or visit our website to learn more. We accept all major insurances GHI, UnitedHealthCare, Oxford, Cigna, MagnaCare, BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) All major credit cards, Cash, and PayPal accepted • Extra time on tests, both in classrooms, SATs, ACTs, SHSATs • IEPs, 504 plans, private school placement • Forensic (injury, special education, child custody, immigration) cases • Medication management Clinical Expertise: Help with: Is your child struggling with: reading or Math? Paying attention? Making friends? Anxious mood? If so, a comprehensive evaluation will help you with your next steps.
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.
12 NewYorkFamily.com | September 2023
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.
September 2023 | Queens Family 13 New York’s largest credit union is headed to The World’s Borough! Scan to learn more about Bethpage, or visit lovebethpage.com/sunnyside. COMING SOON! Bethpage Federal Credit Union is excited to bring our vision of enriching the lives of our members and their communities to Sunnyside! NMLS ID: 449104 Federally Insured by NCUA 47-21 QUEENS BLVD  Callahan Associates, based on total assets. Data as of December 2022.
Exploring School Options
Advice for finding the perfect educational fit for your child
By BarBara russo
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.
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.
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
14 NewYorkFamily.com | September 2023
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 nysed.gov.
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
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 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 magnetschools.nyc.
September 2023 | Queens Family 15
WE WISH OUR STUDENTS, TEACHERS, STAFF, AND FAMILIES A SUCCESSFUL START TO THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR! /ArchbishopMolloy @molloyhs | @molloyhs_admissions For more Admissions information, visit www.molloyhs.org OPEN HOUSE 10/15/23* SAVE THE DATE! *REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LINK AVAILABLE IN MID-SEPTEMBER AT WWW.MOLLOYHS.ORG
A Rich History and an Exciting Plan for the Future
Garden School has transformed the lives of children in Queens since 1923, and they have ambitious plans as they celebrate their centennial. Garden began in an apartment in pre-war Jackson Heights. Back then, northwest Queens, just two subway stops out of Manhattan, was bucolic and the school was the sole independent option. Fast forward 100 years and the neighborhood has become one of the most exciting and dynamic places on earth – the most diverse zip code in the nation.
Garden was founded as a Country Day School and though much has changed around it, Garden is a stable and nurturing sanctuary in our bustling city, serving children in grades Nursery through 12th. Walking by, you see a charming campus with blooming trees and flowers that opens into Travers Park. Beneath the cupola and inside the main entrance is a school full of energetic students and an exciting team incubating new ideas. The Garden community is buzzing with entrepreneurial zeal these days as they execute on their Centennial Strategic Plan, a legacy that will resonate for another hundred years.
Under new leadership, the school has been growing in enrollment, forging partnerships with a multitude of organizations and constructing numerous state-of-theart facilities. Throughout this journey of growth and innovation, Garden School has masterfully maintained a delicate equilibrium – honoring their 100-year tradition while seizing new opportunities for growth and innovation. The school’s remarkable achievements are underscored by an impressive roster of alumni who have made an indelible mark on the world, alongside a remarkable collection of Ivy League admissions and top-tier programs. Just last year, Garden unveiled a state-of-the-art Science Lab and a Fitness & Wellness center, in addition to rejuvenating multiple learning spaces. This ongoing transformation continues with the recent upgrades of several spaces dedicated to the Visual and Performing Arts, made possible by a prestigious EE Ford Foundation grant.
With an eye on innovation, the school offers incubator grants to teachers resulting in school-wide initiatives focused on
Empathy, Women’s Leadership, and unique cross-disciplinary coursework. This spirit of progress is further enhanced by advancements in STEM instructional technology, Athletics, and the Arts, rendering Garden School a veritable nexus of avant-garde education for both educators and students alike.
Not just designed for those enrolled, Garden is dedicated to serving a public purpose. A decade ago, they opened one of the largest early childhood centers in Queens through a partnership with the DOE and this year, they launched the Community Resource Center at Garden School, a completely free point of access of learning for parents and educators across Queens. This year, they plan to host dozens of free programs, an Entrepreneurial Educators Summit, and a panel of influential political figures from Queens to explore the most pressing topics facing education today.
When asked about Garden’s progress,
their Head of School, Chris Herman, said, “This is Garden’s Renaissance. We were once known as the ‘best kept secret in Queens’ and now we are taking our rightful place as the school where serious students come to thrive, serious artists come to create, serious athletes come to compete, and where serious educators make a deep and meaningful impact.”
Garden has been featured by high profile organizations for its model – one which grows programs, but keeps tuition at half the cost of a typical NYC independent education. What’s next for this school on the move – a satellite campus in South Korea in 2025!
With a legacy of decades of access for families from across NYC, Garden’s commitment to affordability and diversity remain a backbone of its ethos.
Contact Jodian Davis, Director of Admissions and Marketing at 718-335-6363 email@example.com
16 NewYorkFamily.com | September 2023 New York FamilY partN er
September 2023 | Queens Family 17 Call: (718) 335-6363 | Visit: gardenschool.org | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Virtual Information Sessions: Every Wednesday Morning at 9 am- Register Online! October 15th: Sunday Market Open house (10am-1pm) November 19th: Sunday Market Open house (10am-1pm) December 3rd: Sunday Market Open House (10am-1pm) Upcoming Open House Events: Garden School "Cultivating Success In Every Child"
RSV Shot Has Been Approved by the FDA for Infants
What parents need to know
BY DONNA DUARTE�LADD
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.”
18 NewYorkFamily.com | September 2023
September 2023 | Queens Family 19 Fu n for the Whol e Fam i ly Fun the Whole Family • ARTS & CRAFTS • FREE PUMPKIN DECORATING • ACTIVITY CLASSES • BOUNCE HOUSE • FACE PAINTERS • CIRCUS PERFORMERS • COTTON CANDY • DJ • SPECIAL BUBBLE PERFORMANCES BY SOPHIE Discover local family related services, venues, programs, schools and products. Long Island Family Day is a mix of fun & learning for families through an exhibition space, kids activity center, unique classes and presentations on-site. RSVP Now - Space is Limited NewYorkFamily.com/LongIslandFamilyDay Long Island Family Day Sunday, October 15th, 2023 - 11am - 2:30pm Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City
The Many Benefits of After-school Programs
By Serena norr
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.”
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.
20 NewYorkFamily.com | September 2023
September 2023 | Queens Family 21 Teaching Basketball and Sportsmanship Since 1997 The #1 Basketball Program In Queens ® FIRST SHOT BASKETBALL SCHOOL FREE TRIAL LESSON • Child sensitive programs • 1 trained teacher for 5 players • Low baskets and youth size balls • FREE T-Shirt. Award at Graduation NON-COMPETITIVE BEGINNER PROGRAMS Learn BasketballPlay Basketball Call now: 718-275-7974 Trained basketball teachers build your children's skills and self-conﬁdence CO-ED Ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-10 Register on-line at: WWW.FIRSTSHOTBASKETBALL.COM REGO PARK • QUEENS VILLAGE • JAMAICA ESTATES • Full Court Games & Skill contests • Shooting Clinics • Everyone Plays All The Time • Ask about Semi- Private Lessons • FREE T-Shirt. Award at Graduation CO-ED Ages 10-13, 12-15 COMPETITIVE OLYMPIXTM & POWERBALL Register NOW for Fall and Winter allstarstudiosnyc.com 108-21 72nd Ave (4th Forest Hills, NY 11375 718-268-2280 • email@example.com Tap Ballet Hip Hop Lyrical Offering classes for ages 3+ in: Jazz New Class Jumps & Turns Stretch & Strength Toddler & Me Acrobatics Brooklyn Fencing Center Astoria Large Olympic-style Fencing Facility Now open at 36-32 34th Street Beginners Welcome astoriafencing.com 646-767-2300 firstname.lastname@example.org
advantage QuickStart tennis
Roosevelt Island Racquet Club
mbarbato@ advantagetennisclubs.com quickstartny.com
customized for age, ability and tons of fun! Girls and boys as young as 4 love the kid-sized racquets, smaller play areas and slowerbouncing balls. Advantage QuickStart pros are specially trained in a PTR and USTA NetGen-based curriculum, creating a friendly, positive atmosphere and engaging drills and games. The 2023 QuickStart fall program offers after-school and weekend classes, on a schedule that works for your family. Enroll today!
all Star Studios
108-21 72nd Ave., 4th floor, Forest Hills
All Star Studios program is designed to encourage and educate students on how to increase flexibility, improve coordination, focus on muscle strengthening, build poise, and have fun. All instructors have experience in both teaching and performing. Get ready for the 2022-2023 dance season and register for a free trial class!
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 this program at: alvinailey.org/school/ programs/junior-division.
b rooklyn fencing centera storia
36-32 34th St, Queens, NY 11106, 2nd floor 718 522 5822
Brooklyn Fencing Center is celebrating the opening of their newest location in Astoria, Queens. The Olympic style facility offers year round group and private classes and boasts six competitive fencing strips. The center originated in Brooklyn in 2003 and is now bringing the fencing experience to families in Queens. Fall classes are registering now. Keep an eye out for their porcupine patch
at fencing events of all levels.
Joffrey b allet School
47-10 Austell Pl f4, Queens, NY 11101
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. Inperson or livestream options available, with performance opportunities each semester. Sign up for a trial class, placement class, or register to reserve your space today!
n adia’s performing arts centre
208-42 Cross Island Pkwy., Bayside, NY 718-279-3980
As a dancer, a mother and an educator, artistic director Nadia Avigliano has come to
22 NewYorkFamily.com | September 2023 Activities d irectory | Special Advertising Supplement
THE AILEY SCHOOL JUNIOR DIVISION
Growing in Leaps and Bounds
First Steps & Bounding Boys (ages 3-6) Creative movement classes
Photos by Rosalie O’Connor.
September 2023 | Queens Family 23
Accepting new students for 2023-24 school year AlvinAiley.org/School
Pre-Professional Training Program (ages 7-17) Ballet, modern, West African, and more OFFICIAL SCHOOL OF ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
know that children possess many different styles of learning. Through dance education, they acquire skills in rhythm, patterning, memorization, problem solving, spatial and body awareness, musicality, precision and coordination. The Center’s environment nurtures students’ selfesteem and encourages them to strive for their best. Whether your child hopes to dance professionally or just wants to try a new activity, they offer various levels of engagement suitable for beginners or seasoned dancers.
r idgewood Dance Studio
60-13 Myrtle Ave., 2nd Floor Ridgewood, NY 718-497-2372
Believing that it’s important for every child to experience the art of dance, their Studio has been dancing into the lives of the community for
over 40 years. Learning to dance is a vital part of a child’s development and encourages discipline, mature habits, poise, personality, stability, selfconfidence and knowledge of music. Students have been accepted into performing arts schools as well as The Alvin Ailey and Rockette summer intensive programs.
rose academy of b allet 70-11 Austin St., Forest Hills 718-520-0207
A thoughtful dance program that combines movement and music, while always leaving space for personal creativity. Students are taught by professionals in their field! There are dance classes for ages 3 and older! Pre-ballet, jazz, hip-hop, acro, and more! Register for classes now!
24 NewYorkFamily.com | September 2023 Activities d irectory | Special Advertising Supplement
70-11 Austin Street, 2nd Fl, Forest Hills, NY email@example.com www.roseacademyofballet.com 718-520-0207 Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Acro, Hip Hop, Modern Dance and Tippy Toes Fall Semester Begins September 10th Lear n To Dance I n A Fr iend ly At mosphere ww w.R idgewood Dance.com r idgewoodd ance st ud ios@g ma i l com • 718 - 497-2372 60 -13 My r tle Ave . , 2nd Classes beg i n Sat ., September 16th AGES 3 – A DU LT Celebrat i ng over 40 years! • BALLET • TAP • JAZZ • HIP-HOP • COMPETITION CLASSES • DANCE WOR KSHOPS • LATIN FUSION Check us out Online! We’re the #1 print & digital lifestyle platform for engaged parents in New York. Visit newyorkfamily.com for daily stories and to sign up for our weekly newsletters!
September 2023 | Queens Family 25 JOIN US for the MUSICAL THEATRE WORKSHOP Every Thursdays From 5 - 6pm Awarded BEST ART SCHOOL in 2023 in the “BEST OF THE BORO” Competition. REGISTER NOW ! FOR THE FALL PROGRAM 2023 Best Music School in Queens from 2017 to 2023. Follow our website link , give us a call, or send us an email to learn more about our offerings • Staff Training • School-Based Consultation • FBA Assessment and BIP Implementation • ABA and Verbal Behavior Training Techniques • Behavior Management Strategies • Home/School Intensive Behavior Intervention Services • Crisis Intervention and Prevention • Home-Based Services and Parent Education Training • CPSE/CSE Advocacy & Meeting Attendance $75 off consultation Karen Bottalico, SAS, SDA —NYS Certified School Psychologist— (516) 851-8330
Services To ensure a safe environment, we are taking all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID 354 Lakeville Road, Great Neck, NY 516-466-8422 | www.CMSGN.com Our fullyequipped, spacious classrooms offer the most enriched curriculum available for 18 mos – 6 yrs with the American Montessori Society since 1988 •Spacious playground •Large classrooms •Low teacher-student ratio •Early drop-off and extended day available Countryside Montessori School An Education Where Children Thrive Under the Guidance of Great Teachers in an Environment that Stimulates Creativity and Individual Potential!
New Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
By BarBara russo
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.
26 NewYorkFamily.com | 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 eeoc.gov.
September 2023 | Queens Family 27
“Pregnancy should be celebrated. And it’s very hard to do that when employers aren’t always held accountable.”
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-
28 NewYorkFamily.com | 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 212-769-5100
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 | Queens Family 29 Don’t Let Your Child Fall Behind You Have A Pal To Give Your Child A Headstart Preschool Program & Universal Pre-K Ages 2-5 • Full Day 8am-6pm • Certified Teachers • Healthy Meals & Snacks • Services For Special Needs • Educational Trips • Social Service Staff • Safe Indoor/ Outdoor Facilities • Parent Committees/ Workshops PAL World Of Creative Experience 280 Livonia Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11212 718-345-5219 PAL Woodside Early Learning Center 50-37 Broadway Woodside, NY 11377 718-278-3616 PAL A&M Schwartz 452 Pennsylvania Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11207 718-342-4141 PAL Carey Gardens 2964 W. 23rd Street Brooklyn, NY 11224 718-372-4044 PAL La Puerta Albierta 2864 W. 21st Street Brooklyn, NY 11224 718-373-1100 PAL Western Queens Nursery 10-26 41st Avenue L.I.C., NY 11101 718-784-2092 PAL Rockaway
www.palnyc.org ENROLL NOW Little Tree House Daycare: Serving children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old. Hours of operation: 8am to 6pm. Offering nutritious home cooked meals. Daily Arts and crafts, play time and fun educational activities. HRA & ACS VOUCHERS Accepted 94-21 115th Street South Richmond Hill NY 11419
Rockaway, NY 11693
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
30 NewYorkFamily.com | September 2023
✂ Clip & save!
September 2023 | Queens Family 31 FAMILY SPEECH CENTER (718) 939-0306 www.Familyspeechcenter.com Familyspeechcenter@verizon.net We accept most insurance plans CERTIFIED SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS CERTIFIED OROFACIAL MYOLOGISTS EVALUATION & TREATMENT FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS (718) 380-4599 176-60 Union Turnpike, #310 mygym.com/freshmeadows mygymfm mygymqueens TRY 1 WEEK FOR JUST $39 OF Unlimited Classes Check us out Online! We’re the #1 print & digital lifestyle platform for engaged parents in New York. Visit newyorkfamily.com to check it out and sign up for our weekly newsletters! • Convenient afternoon and Saturday Appointments • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) analgesia • 30+ years experience • Accepting many insurances as full or partial payment • Digital radiography • Zoom Bleaching (for our older patients) Pappas Pediatric Dentistry Turn Your Child’s Dental Visit Into A Fun Experience Despina Pappas D.D.S Elayne Pappas D.D.S. 215-41 23rd Road Bayside, NY 11360 718 224-0443 TV/DVD in waiting room and operatories Come Pet the Friendly Dinasaur Warm child friendly environment
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.
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.
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.
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.
32 NewYorkFamily.com | 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 | Queens Family 33
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
By Cris Pearlstein
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
34 NewYorkFamily.com | 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 Newyorkfamily.com
September 2023 | Queens Family 35
Photo by Yumi Matsuo
by ShARA Le VIne
nyc unicycle festival 2023
wHen : Saturday, Sept. 2, 12 – 5 pm
wHere : Seven Gables Playground, Oceania St. & 210th St., Oakland Gardens
wHat: This annual event offers a learn-to-ride area, unicycle demos, games and relays.
want to go?: Free. nycunifest.com
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
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, queensfarm.org
glendale kiwanis community Day
wHen : Sept. 9, 11 am – 4 pm
wHere : The Shops at Atlas Park, 8000 Cooper Avenue, Glendale
wHat: Celebrate “Kids Day” on the Center Green with music, food, games, prizes & face painting.
want to go?: Free. shopatlaspark.com
celebrate the arts at kew gardens community arts
wHen : Saturday, Sept. 9, 11 am – 6 pm
wHere : Kew Gardens
Business District, Austin Street, Lefferts Blvd, 83 Avenue, Kew Gardens
wHat: The neighborhood will be turned into an art experience with an eclectic mix of artwork created by talented Queens artists, local musicians, art experiences and more. want to go?: Free. kewgardensarts.com
apples & Honey Day
wHen : Sunday, Sept. 10, 12 – 4 pm
wHere : Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing
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. queensbotanical.org
wHen : Saturday, Sept. 16, 12 – 2 pm
wHere : Beach 94th Street Plaza in Rockaway Beach, Beach 94th Street & Shorefront Parkway, Far Rockaway ageS: All wHat: Come out for a familyfriendly celebration featuring costumed participants sharing their floats and artwork while celebrating the end of summer. want to go?: Free. nycgovparks.org
Hands-on History: Quill creations
wHen : Saturday, Sept. 16, 1 – 4 pm
wHere : King Manor Museum, 150-03 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica ageS: 5 and up wHat: Join the museum for some quill and ink writing using real feather quills and authentic ink, just as it was used to sign the Constitution in honor of Constitution Day. want to go?: Free. kingmanor.org
nySom SuperHero festival 2023
wHen : Saturday, Sept. 23, 2 – 6 pm
wHere : Evergreen Park, St. Felix Ave 60th Pl, Ridgewood
wHat: This festival will feature a SuperHero Carnival along with your favorite Heroes, Heroines, Villains, classic video game legends, and more. want to go?: Free. (203) 609–1611, eventbrite.com
the college point Street fair
wHen : Sunday, Sept. 24, 11 am – 5:30 pm
wHere : College Point Boulevard, College Point Boulevard between 20th avenue and 14th avenue, College Point ageS: All
wHat: Don’t miss the only street fair in NYC with free rides! Plus,
36 NewYorkFamily.com | September 2023
Visit the Queens county Fair
8 to 10 at the Queens
county Farm museum.
vendors, and food. want to go?: Free. streetfairsny.com
bell blvd Sunday Stroll
wHen : Sunday, Sept. 24, 12 – 5 pm
wHere : Bell Blvd, Along Bell Blvd between 38 Ave and 43 Ave, Bayside
wHat: Take a stroll in Bayside Village and enjoy live music, dancing, activities, games, great food, and surprises! want to go?: Free admission. baysidevillagebid. com
mA nh AttA n
Summer on the Hudson: west Side county fair
wHen : Sunday, Sept. 10, 1–6pm
wHere : Pier I in Riverside Park South, West 70th Street, Upper West Side
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. nycgovparks.org
table of Silence project 9/11
wHen : Monday, Sept. 11, 8:05am
wHere : Lincoln Center, Josie Robertson Plaza, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Lincoln Square
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. lincolncenter.org
the feast of San gennaro
wHen : Sept. 14-24, see website for complete schedule.
wHere : Mulberry Street, Little Italy
wHat: Head to Little Italy for this iconic event celebrating Italian culture and traditions. want to go?: Free. sangennaronyc.org
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
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, nybg.org
woodlawn family fun Day 2023
wHen : Saturday, Sept. 23, 1–4pm
wHere : Indian Field in Van Cortlandt Park, East 233 St. between Jerome Ave. and Van Cortlandt Park East, Bronx
wHat: Enjoy a day of family fun with music, face painting,
crats, nature walks, and more. want to go?: Free. eventbrite.com
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 animal-themed illuminated jack o’lantern trail, games and treats.
want to go?: $34.95; $24.95 ages 3-12; free for children 2 and younger. bronxzoo.com
bR oo KLyn
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. anyonecomics.com
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, brooklynbowl.com
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
September 2023 | Queens Family 37 SEPTEMBER calendar
Life is sweet at a pples & honey day at the Queens Botanical Garden on s eptember 10.
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