Bronx/Riverdale Family - November 2023

Page 1

November 2023

Let's Go to the


Donna & Mateo explore AMNH's Gilder Center and share on navigating museums with a child with disabilities

Best Birthday Party Spots

Thanksgiving A thankful daughter on continuing family traditions

Festive Fun!

Experience the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City

Special Child guide




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November 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family



November 2023

pg. 28

pg. 30 pg. 16

pg. 20


Stories & columns

8 | In the News How to explain the Israel-Palestine conflict to kids

6 | Editor’s Letter

16 | Parties Best Party Places 18 | Holiday Fun Our favorite things to do as the holiday season arrives 20 | Cover How to navigate museums with a child with disabilities 24 | Special Child Tips and resources for emotional wellness for the parents and caregivers of kids with disabilities

4 | November 2023

12 | Ask the Expert Your teen’s first gynecologist visit 14 | Family Day Out Courage to Act: New exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage is a must-see 30 | Mom Stories One family’s intergenerational Thanksgiving customs

pg. 18

Family fun 28 | Calendar All the fun events and activities for November

Directories 26 | Special Needs Listings

on the Cover Photo: Yumi Matsuo | Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | Cover location: Many thanks to Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation at the American Museum of Natural History

Sunday, November 19th 4-6PM Get in the holiday spirit and spread festive cheer during the annual Lighting of Ridge Hill. Featuring holiday performances, musical entertainment, family friendly activities, and the magical arrival of Santa!


November 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


Editor’s Note

Nina Gallo Photography


It’s been a heavy last few weeks in the world. We write for a diverse community at New York Family. The Israel-Palestine conflict is a complex and sensitive issue. We are all saddened about what is happening. When writing about war, How to Explain the IsraelPalestine Conflict to Kids (page 8), we aim to foster peaceful dialogue while respecting our community and holding onto hope for a better future for all families affected by this conflict. November is a busy month; the fall weather and upcoming holidays mean cool things to do and events are happening. Check out our calendar (page 28) and Holiday Fun events (page 18) to start mapping out your family excursions. Every November, we highlight ‘Special Child,’ where we share resources for kids with disabilities. And guess what? Our

cover is my son Mateo, age seven (and me holding on to him so he doesn’t tackle the art). Thankfully, The Gilder Center has unique interactive exhibitions! We adopted Mateo as a baby (happy National Adoption Month!), and he was diagnosed with ASD at a young age. You can read more about my journey at because this month’s issue isn’t about me. It is about the many New York families in the disability community and the challenges they face daily – many of whom want to get out and just Go to the Museum! (page 20). And we have them; we have listed our picks with the most accessibility so you can map out your family’s visit before you go and enjoy all the beauty these institutions provide us lucky New Yorkers! Donna

Publisher: Clifford Luster Executive Director: Donna Duarte-Ladd Associate Publisher: Erin Brof Advertising Director: Stacie Goldberg Deputy Editor: Jeannine Cintron Digital Editor: Kaitlyn Riggio Events Manager: Shara Levine Reporter: Barbara Russo Senior Adviser: Susan Weiss Partnership Managers: Lauren Alperin, Lauren Anchin, Joan Bergman, Mary Cassidy, Suzanne Cirigliano, Chris Cunnington, Lori Falco, Shelli Goldberg-Peck, LynnMarie Hanley, Lisa Herlihy, Janine Mulé, Nina Spiegelman, Gwen Tomaselli Marketing & Strategy Director: Rosalia Bobé Sales & Marketing assistant: Elana Cantor Marketing Assistant: Tilejah Gilead Media Sales Assistant: Anastasia Aktipis Art Director: Leah Mitch Web Developer: Sylvan Migdal Graphic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti Editors at large: Serena Norr, Cris Pearlstein Editorial Contributors: Jana Beauchamp, Mia Salas Editorial Interns: Marnie Dunbar

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6 | November 2023

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MSG Entertainment

Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes© t here is nothing quite like Christmas in the Big Apple, and no holiday trip to New York City is complete without a visit to Radio City Music Hall to take part in the iconic holiday tradition that is the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes© presented by QVC. This awe-inspiring production features intricate choreography and thrilling performances by the renowned Rockettes that will leave you with a sense of wonder and amazement. While the production is an annual tradition eagerly anticipated by both New Yorkers and visitors, each year’s performance also brings a fresh perspective to the timeless classics. This year’s production features classics such as “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “New York at

MSG Entertainment

MSG Entertainment

Christmas” as well as new favorites. The newly reimagined scene “Dance of the Frost Fairies©” transforms the Rockettes into fantastical winged fairies as even more fairy friends fly high above the audience. The Christmas Spectacular runs for 90

minutes with no intermission. Audiences can experience the immersive magic at the iconic Radio City Music Hall, opening November 17th. Tickets are available at Make the most of the holidays with the Christmas Spectacular. This is Christmas in New York City!

November 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


in the news

How to Explain the IsraelPalestine Conflict to Kids By Jeannine Cintron


n the innocent mind of a child, war is incomprehensible. Most young people, if they are fortunate enough to live in a safe place, are not able to grasp the horrors that war brings. The escalating brutality between Israel and Palestine is something even adults can hardly bear to hear, so it’s understandable that parents might need help explaining the situation to their impressionable children. We’ve broken it down for you below with tips from experts, extra resources for parents, and simple explanations for kids. Editors note: We at New York Family understand that this is a highly sensitive topic. Needless to say, we do not condone violence or terroristic acts of any kind. As a family publication, our goal is always to ensure that parents are equipped with the resources they need to raise children, which is why we are sharing this information for families to aid in coping and understanding a frightening situation for kids.

8 | November 2023

Our thoughts are with all those affected by the tragedy unfolding in the Middle East. Why are Israel and Palestine Fighting? Your kids might be asking what’s going on. It isn’t easy to simplify a conflict that dates back decades (technically centuries), especially one with such strongly opposing sides. But you don’t need to dust off a history textbook to explain to your kids why Israel and Palestine are at war with one another. In the country of Israel, located in the Middle East between Africa and Asia, lies territory that is desired by both the Israelis and the Palestinians. The region is also known as the Holy Land and is considered sacred among Jews, Christians and Muslims. Since the 20th century, ownership and occupation of this land has been a major source of conflict between Jewish and Arab nationalists, leading to prolonged violence and political uproar. Unfortunately, thousands of innocent civilians have been killed or injured as a

result of this ongoing dispute. Obviously, there is a lot more to it than that, but children may not understand and are likely going to be sensitive to the details. The experts we spoke to recommend parents not share the depraved actions of terrorist organizations with children, which is why we have provided this simple explanation. If you or your child are interested in a more detailed (and unbiased) explanation of the Israel-Palestine conflict, we recommend reading these articles together: • conflict • • What are the roots to the Israel/ Palestine conflict? While international affairs – even war – tend to be of little concern to most children, this particular situation, with its stomachchurning images of violence broadcasted live for the world to see, is likely to be more than just a passing topic at the dinner table. In the age of social media, the graphic footage is easily accessible to children. Whether your child has seen the


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November 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


in the news

unsettling details or simply overheard adults talking about them, they might be confused and upset by it all. After polling our followers on New York Family’s Instagram, we learned that 75 percent of the parents who responded have children who are upset by what is going on in Israel. According to Lauren Tetenbaum, a Scarsdale-based social worker specializing in maternal mental health, the most important thing is to open the lines of communication with your kids, whatever age they are, and to make them feel comfortable coming to you for information – just not too much information. “I have elementary school aged kids and I keep it very direct with them, and honest, and I don’t give more information than the question requires,” she says. “For older kids, you should still be direct and honest, but you may be a little more proactive with them. You might want to reassure them that your job as their parent is to make sure that they feel safe and can come and talk to you about everything. And I think in general the message is always that we want peace and safety for everyone.” While we are very fortunate to not be near the violence, it’s still a very scary situation. So how do parents approach the conversation in a healthy way that is both truthful and comforting for kids? “It’s important to acknowledge their worry and also acknowledge yours. As parents, we feel like we have to be superheroes, but I think that it’s really important to show your kids that you are scared too, to a certain extent, but also emphasize that we’re safe here,” Tetenbaum explains. “I think it’s natural for kids to experience a level of anxiety,” she adds. “So I would encourage parents not to think that it’s abnormal unless it becomes excessive, in which case I would encourage them to reach out for professional support. But otherwise I would acknowledge the anxiety and say ‘Yes, this is an anxiety provoking situation. All war is terrible and sad and scary and we wish it weren’t happening. And I’m always here if you want to talk.’” “I would avoid details of the violence and be very matter of fact about it,” Tetenbaum continues. “It is a hard balance between teaching them about what’s going on and building empathy, but also not terrifying them. “Let them know there are ways to help. We can show support, we can donate medical supplies and things like that. Because a lot of kids and grownups, of course, feel very helpless

10 | November 2023

“It is an extremely raw and current moment. Everyone’s processing a lot of emotions. It’s scary. It’s real time. So give yourself a break.” and giving back in any way that you can, can feel good and also, of course, is very much needed.” Not every kid is going to be upset or even aware of what is going on, which is a good thing. But should parents keep them in the dark if they are old enough to understand? Sort of, according to Tetenbaum. “It is an extremely raw and current moment,” she says. “So I would say to all parents don’t feel that you have to behave a certain way. Everyone’s processing a lot of emotions. It’s scary. It’s real time. So give yourself a break, if your kid isn’t asking about it right now. I think it’s fine to leave it alone to a certain extent. But you could make the statement ‘You know, there’s war and violence escalating in the Middle East. It’s terrible. Violence is never the answer. And if you have any questions, I’m happy to talk to you.’ And I think that that sets up children for success as empathetic human beings as global citizens because they should know what’s going on. But I don’t think you need to sit them down and hammer it home, especially when feelings are probably heightened for you as well right now.” Tetenbaum also stresses the importance of caring for yourself first. “Give yourself a break,” she offers. “I know that we’re all glued to the phones and the news. It’s not great for our mental health. And I know that to be able to turn it off is very much a privilege and obviously the closer you are to the conflict, you can’t. But to the extent that you can I would encourage it because it’s like constant trauma in your face, literally. And I would say volunteering and giving back and educating yourself on these issues are great action items that can make people feel a little bit better. But there’s no one right way to process any of this, so give yourself that kindness.” Tips for Parents to Help Kids Cope Experts from the apolitical organization NATAL, Israel’s leading trauma and resilience center, shared the following helpful advice on how to listen to and speak with children about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Be together and be present. It is important to be with our loved ones. Be present while with your children and communicate with them often. Call people you love on the phone and ask how they are doing. Tell your children phrases like, “We are together and taking care of each other.”

Provide information. Provide essential, reliable and focused information. It is important to help children understand what is happening and it is not recommended to hide information, but on the other hand, there is no need to go into too much detail. It is important to reduce children’s (and adults’) exposure to media, especially images and content that are inappropriate for their age, despite them being rapidly disseminated on many platforms. Leave only one device on in another room so you can be updated as needed. The news and social media are full of images and videos that are unsettling and can linger in our thoughts for an extended period. Despite the natural temptation to watch, it is important to be responsible with such media and not disseminate it. Normalize and accept. Explain that this situation arouses feelings of tension, apprehension and anxiety in everyone. Give legitimacy to everything they share with you – explain that physical and emotional reactions (fear, crying, tremors, confusion) are a normal reaction to this situation. Relax and ground yourselves. Inhale deeply, let your mind wander to happy places, and embrace one another. Engaging in physical activities such as stretching, yoga, jumping, strength training, or dancing can be significantly beneficial. Offering a helping hand and sharing a smile – even a forced one – are two powerful gestures that provide strength during challenging times. And lastly, don’t stay alone with your thoughts. How to Help Those Affected in this war: If you would like to donate to aid in relief efforts, here are some reputable charities to look into: • The United Jewish Appeal Israel Emergency Fund ( • Jewish National Fund-USA ( • Mercy Chefs ( • The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (donate.unrwa. org) • The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee ( • International Committee of The Red Cross ( • World Central Kitchen (

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November 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


ask the expert

Your Teen’s First Gynecologist Visit By Serena norr


re you wondering when it’s the right time to have “the talk” with your daughter about their first visit the Gynecologist? Or what how to the “right” Gynecologist or maybe wha to share what will happen during a visit. During a recent interview, we spoke with Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers, a board-certified OB/GYN who specializes in adolescent gynecology. Dr. Rodgers shared more about the importance of gynecologic care and how to open up the conversation as early as age 9. Read on to learn more about getting your teen ready for their first visit to a Gynecologist. Is there a “right” time to start talking to your kids about their first visit to a gynecologist? As a NYC-based board-certified OB/ GYN and mom of three, empowering young women and helping provide them with a supportive environment to start their gynecologic care is very important to me. Recently, as a result of the overturning of Roe vs Wade and the subsequent increased media coverage of reproductive health, more parents and teens have come to me to have a frank discussion about “hard to talk about” topics. A good initiation point (if your teen has not inquired prior) is when it is time for your child to get the HPV vaccine. This is approved for both boys and girls starting at age 9. Naturally, your child may wonder, “Why do I need this?.” This presents an opportunity to start the discussion about reproductive health and safety. From there, one can continue to address puberty and the changes that are happening to your child’s body. Education is essential here. I find that explaining the physiologic purpose of our period gives teens a better understanding of why it’s important to be safe once she becomes sexually active, even if they are still unsure of their sexual identity. It is also important to start this dialogue even if they are not sexually active, or planning on being sexually active in the near future, so that they are empowered with accurate information when the time does present itself. Many parents are concerned that bringing up these topics may encourage their child to have sex earlier, but the medical literature does not support this. What age do you recommend girls go for their first visit?

12 | November 2023

Ideally, they should see an OB/GYN prior to becoming sexually active or certainly by age 18. As a gynecologist, many adolescents come to me with irregular or painful periods. Prior to this, I educate them about the other areas of reproductive health including contraception and sexually transmitted infection prevention. What should parents look for when meeting a new Gynecologist for their daughter? It is important to find a provider that is comfortable with the adolescent patient population. Young patients often have different physical, social and emotional concerns that impact their reproductive health and decisions. What is a Gynecologist is looking for in young women? It is always important to take into account the whole patient when providing medical care. A medical provider should consider not only the physiologic findings, but also how the patient’s social and emotional life can impact their health. When I speak with a patient about birth control, I want to understand what is happening in their life – and it is not all about sex. I want to talk about the regularity of their period, if they suffer from acne, if they have bad cramping, and, ultimately, how their period impacts their quality of life.

Contraceptive advice Do you have anything else to add? All contraceptive options are not created equal, and there is not a one size fits all solution. A few years ago, with the help of a college-age intern, I created a tangible box. This includes samples of the various options so they can physically see the differences between each while we discuss the pros and cons. For many teens, the ease and accessibility of an over-the-counter birth control pill will be a great option. It has very few medical contraindications which makes it safe for many patients. This being said, I would like to note that the pill is 98% effective in PERFECT use. However, this requires the patient to be compliant with taking a pill each day. For many (especially teens), remembering to take a daily pill can be a burden. For this reason, I tend to recommend longacting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). These must be inserted by a medical provider, but do not require daily maintenance. They are available in hormonal and nonhormonal options and are effective for extended periods of time. For example, those who wish to avoid additional hormones, may want to consider Paragard. This IUD is effective for up to 10 years. As an OB/ GYN, I encourage patients to consider their options. Additionally, they should have a conversation about what is best for them with their health care provider.

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family day out

Courage to Act New exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage is a must-see


lthough kids learn about history in school, nothing will catch their attention quite like seeing it come to life right before their eyes. That’s why the latest exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Courage to Act: Rescue in Denmark, is an absolute must-see for families. The eye-opening new exhibition simultaneously delivers a positive message while captivating viewers both young and old with its stunning visual effects and lifelike narrative. Courage to Act is now open and is for visitors ages 9 and up and explores the true meaning of community, inspiring people of all ages to reflect on the dangers of prejudice and their own potential for courageous and moral actions and citizenship. Using state-of-the-art technology and creative storytelling, Courage to Act immerses visitors in one of the most impressive acts of mass resistance in modern history. In the face of grave danger and under threat of deportations, both Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of all ages came together in 1943 to evacuate thousands of Jews in Denmark to safety in Sweden. Their collective action saved over 95% of Denmark’s Jewish population. The exhibition features interactive elements including Discovery Walls and hologram-like composite characters that help transport visitors to the world of 1943 Denmark. Maps, archival materials, a boat, photographs, and testimonials are showcased as well. Age-appropriate themes of separation,

14 | November 2023

The Museum of Jewish Heritage

bravery, and resilience help young people make connections to their own lives and reflect on the dangers of prejudice—as well as their own potential for compassionate, moral, and courageous collective action and upstanding. Fans of Lois Lowry’s popular historical fiction novel Number the Stars will feel a particularly special connection to the

exhibition. The award-winning book tells the story of the Danish Resistance in the words of a heroic 10-year-old girl who helped save her best friend from the Nazis in Denmark. It’s required reading for many middle schoolers, so there’s a good chance young museum visitors will already be familiar with the story behind Courage to Act – making it even more powerful of an experience. In a climate of widespread bigotry, antisemitism, and Holocaust denial, Courage to Act addresses a critical need by reaching younger children and emphasizing the importance of small and big acts of courage that each of us can take to make positive contributions to the world. Ticketing for Courage to Act is on a timed basis. The Museum is celebrating the Danish Rescue with programs throughout the year. New events will be added on an ongoing basis. Learn more at


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Best The Bronx’s

Birthday Party Places


earching for a birthday party should not be stressful; it is all about fun, right? But when it comes to our kids, we parents want them to experience the most memorable birthday that will provide memories for years. So, yes, there is a bit of pressure as birthdays are a big deal, especially for our kids. This is why we have found party spots for you that do all the work. This way, you can enjoy the day along with everyone else. From spots perfect for little ones to middle schoolage kids to those picky tweens and teens, we have some great party recommendations. All you need to do is choose the one that works for you, and it’s all a cakewalk from here. Happy festivities!

16 | November 2023

GymCats Fitness At Equalize Fitness, 1 Odell Plaza, Yonkers 914-965-7676 GymCats Gymnastics is famous for its private, fun-filled birthday parties. Their energetic staff and dazzling facility make every birthday party experience memorable. Children start the party with an exciting warm-up and move on to an obstacle course set up on the perimeter of the floor. After swinging, rolling, and jumping through the obstacle course, children move on to jumping on their in ground trampoline and climbing through their foam-filled pit. Then, they get to climb up and slide down their giant air-filled slide (ages 4 & up) and jump around in their inflatable castle. After an hour of actionpacked activities, guests spend 30 minutes in the party room. 3 and 4-year-old parties spend 45 minutes in activities and 45 minutes in the party room. Monster Mini Golf Ridge Hill Mall, Yonkers NY 221 Market Street, Unit 2950, 2nd Floor 914-346-5072 Monster Mini Golf is the planetary leader in glow-in-the-dark mini golf every day of the year. Their goal is to provide an exceptional

and engaging family entertainment experience in a unique and fun environment. At Monster Mini Golf, prepare for a monstrous birthday party experience like no other. Their full-service Memory Makers will make your child’s birthday an unforgettable experience for not only the little monsters but for all the big monsters as well. Their two-hour events provide nonstop entertainment and engagement with staff who specialize in turning wow moments into lasting memories. From setup to cleanup and everything in between, your dedicated Memory Maker will handle everything for the duration of the event. Monster Mini Golf guarantees a stress-free experience for party parents, at an affordable cost. NinjaCats Equalize Fitness, One Odell Plaza, Yonkers, NY 914-751-8668 Create a truly unique and memorable experience for your child with a birthday celebration on the ninja obstacle course, great for all ages and abilities! Guests will play games, participate

in challenges, and test their own abilities on the many course obstacles. They’ll have a blast climbing, jumping, and swinging away! Lastly, they’ll test their abilities on the warp wall. Parents can rest assured knowing their child will have an awesome party and feel like a superstar on their birthday at NinjaCats. The Rock Club at Pine Brook Fitness 130 Rhodes Street, New Rochelle, NY 914-633-7625 Bring excitement and adventure to your child’s next birthday party at The Rock Club. Climbing is the perfect way to create a memorable and unique birthday party experience. Partygoers will spend 90 minutes climbing and 30 minutes in a private party room overlooking the gym where pizza and soda is provided (or you can bring your own). Their expert staff ensures everyone of all skills and abilities will be excited and engaged while scaling walls and conquering challenges. They even have a ton of extra addons to make your party even more memorable,

like blacklight glow-in-the-dark climbing and a variety of party favors. Mention Westchester Family for 5% off your child’s birthday next party at The Rock Club! Wildlife Conservation Society 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx NY Planning a wildly fun birthday party is easy with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s experienced team! WCS’s aquarium and zoos each offer different educational birthday party packages catered to your needs. Parties include park admission for your group, a private party room, guided exhibit experiences, up-close encounters with animals and more. Dedicated educators bring learning to life with fun hands-on activities that keep kids engaged. From party prep to goodie bags, they’re with you each step of the way. Party package themes, prices, availability, and offerings vary at each park. Explore different packages at the zoos and aquarium to plan the best birthday for your party animal. Get the party started at the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, or New York Aquarium!

November 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


family day out

Festive Holiday Fun


ue the hot chocolate, bring on the holiday lights, it’s family time! We are excited to share the events our amazing partners are holding this season! Christmas Spectacular Radio City Music Hall, NY, NY Make this holiday season truly unforgettable. See the Rockettes live in the Christmas Spectacular, debuting on November 17 at Radio City Music Hall. Secure your tickets now and begin creating cherished memories. Legoland Bricktacular 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers, NY 10710 914-775-6015 Ho-Ho-Whoa! Budding builders can get in the holiday spirit with LEGOLAND

Discovery Center Westchester’s Holiday Bricktacular event starting this November! From November 25th to January 1st, LEGO lovers of all ages can witness each attraction transform into a winter wonderland, full of holiday LEGO creations, merry LEGO experiences and holly-jolly surprises that are sure to delight. The Lighting of Ridge Hill Town Square 121 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013 • 212-453-0295

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One Ridge Hill Boulevard Yonkers, NY 914-207-2903 On November 19th from 4pm to 6pm, get in the holiday spirit and spread festive cheer at The Lighting of Ridge Hill. Featuring holiday performances, musical entertainment, family friendly activities, and the magical arrival of Santa, this unforgettable evening has something for everyone!




special child

EmpowEring musEum visits

How to navigate museums with a child with disabilities By Donna Duarte- LaDD


here are layers to being a parent of a child with a disability. As a mother of a 7-year-old who is Autistic, there are many challenges. One thing I have learned is that every parent’s journey can have similarities yet also look different. The truth is, there are times I ace parenting Mateo, who is considered severely ASD and is non-verbal, and then there are times my whole being is tested. One of these challenges is going somewhere unfamiliar, and museums are on this list. We’ll save airport and new city experiences for another issue. Lesson learned: a few years back, I took my son to a fantastic museum while we were visiting family in California, and while the museum was unique for kids, it was so overstimulating that there was frustration and tears all around. Most unknown spaces are still challenging to visit, but I have learned that having a game plan before we go somewhere new is essential and helps the entire family enjoy the experience. Things like having a map of the museum and picking out the area that will be safe and welcome are essential for us. If there is a quiet room or pockets of quiet nooks, that museum has visitors for life. We use the family bathrooms like an office; they are our saviors- we can regroup fast and not worry about our guy sprinting off. My family loves it when a museum has a social narrative; we can talk about the upcoming visit and what we will see and show him how to visit it. I also bring snacks, and I have never had a security guard make me toss a snack when I explain that my child will not eat the food at a museum cafe. Again, every family has different needs, but this is how we navigate visiting a museum with Mateo. We compiled a list of museums that we

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Photo by Yumi Matsuo

feel go the extra mile regarding accessibility for families with disabilities. If you do not see one of your favorite museums on this list, please visit their website to check that it has what you need to support your child on your next visit. You can also find more general museum

articles on, such as our favorite children’s museums, A Parents’ Guide to Navigating New York City Art Museums with Kids, 48 NYC Museums to Visit All Year Round with the Family. We love our museums, and so do kids with disabilities!

The American Museum of Natural History 200 Central Park West The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation 415 Columbus Ave AMNH is a museum that families visit regularly as it is never-ending in all it offers. This museum’s adventure is endless, from the Hall of North American Mammals to the Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals and more. For people with disabilities, the museum provides much support, and we recommend visiting the accessibility section of its site to map out your visit. The services that stand out: service animals are welcome, and there are excellent tour programs. For Autism families, The Discovery Squad, in collaboration with the Seaver Autism Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, can, on specific Saturdays, explore activities related to the Museum halls before the museum opens. Science Sense Tours for blind or partially sighted visitors can check out this monthly tour, where specially trained museum tour guides spotlight specific themes and exhibits through descriptions and touchable objects. In circling back to mapping out your visit, the museum offers an actual route app for free. The Explorer app will help you to find accessible (with directions) routesand the best part is to see where the elevators are. Choose the accessible route and receive turnby-turn directions. And there is more. Your admission also works for AMNH’s newest addition, The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. Fun things you can do are bug out at the Susan and Peter J. Solomon Family Insectarium, gawk at the gorgeous architecture, and, for a fee, visit the gorgeous exhibits the Invisible Worlds and the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium.

Museum Guide

org or call 212 360 4355. a week before the program you would like to attend.

by Donna Duarte- LaDD & barbara russo

Manhattan Venues: DiMenna Children’s History Museum Located in the lower level of New York Historical Society 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street) Families can explore the nation’s historical narrative and the vibrant tapestry of New York City through captivating exhibits illuminating prominent historical figures’ life journeys from childhood to adulthood. The facilities, galleries, and auditorium are wheelchair accessible, with complimentary wheelchairs for visitors. For those who are blind or visually impaired, free verbaldescription docent-guided tours are available by appointment in conjunction with museum admission. For deaf or hard-of-hearing museum go-ers, most exhibitions are accessible for T-coil hearing aid users. T-coil compatible audio guides are available, also free of charge with admission. ASL interpreters are available but must be scheduled to accompany docent or educator-led group tours, such as school trips. Appointments for these services can be made by contacting The Guggenheim 1071 Fifth Avenue While the Guggenheim is an art space with its renowned modern and contemporary art collection, it is also one of the world’s most famous museums. Designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, its building is iconic. Although the building is stunning, it may feel out of reach if you are a parent of a child with disabilities. Thankfully, the museum has helpful resources to aid parents on their museum visit. There are ADA-compliant bathrooms located on Levels 1 and 7. There is plenty of room for wheelchairs; however, the High Gallery does not have wheelchair access. The space is quite open, so if your child is sensory sensitive, you may want to download the sensory map ( that maps out the areas (usually with seating) that tend to be quiet, less crowded, and low light. For your ASD child, there is also a social narrative map. For visitors with low vision or who are blind, Mind’s Eye Tours runs excellent tours that share through verbal descriptions, conversations, sensory experiences, and clever practices. These free tours should be emailed (access@guggenheim.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Pier 86, W 46th Street From checking out historic planes, a prototype Space Shuttle Enterprise, a diesel-electric powered submarine, and more, families can spend an entire day at this museum by discovering history through Interactive exhibits and artifacts through hands-on experiences while learning about American military and aerospace technology. The Intrepid Museum has a robust roster of programs for kids with disabilities -we recommend checking out their accessibility page for all their offerings. For blind and visually impaired visitors, there are verbal description and tactile guides that use raised images, Braille, and large print, as well as (ALDs) including stereo headphones, single-ear headphones, or T-coil compatible induction loops are available to borrow at no cost to something pretty cool like a talking pen. Autism kids aged 3 to 18 and their families can sign up for a free program called Early Morning Openings on Saturdays. There are also sensory-friendly evenings for teens (14+) and adults with Autism who can have a fun evening after hours. As we mentioned in the intro, it’s easy for sensory-sensitive kids to get overstimulated; before you start exploring the museum, pick up a sensory bag for noise-reduction headphones and fidgets. There are also visual vocabularies, checklists, scavenger hunts, and activity sheets for all public programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028 People worldwide visit The Met, one of New York’s most extensive museums. This is something to remember when visiting, as it can be overwhelming, especially for kids. The museum features gorgeous paintings from renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Vermeer. The Met houses sculptures where kids can look at Greek and Roman statues and contemporary pieces. There is also ancient, Asian, European Decorative, modern art, and more. The Met supports many people with different disabilities. On the museums’ visibility section, a parent can find helpful resources for visitors on the Autism Spectrum such as tips, social narrative, Tour Visual Checklist, Sensory Friendly Mapand more. There are also art workshops for kids, teens(and adults) who are Blind or Partially Sighted. Visitors can also find programs in

November 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


special child

American Sign Language, with Sign Language interpretation and real-time captioning. For caregivers of visitors with disabilities, head to the museum ticket counter, where you can pick up a free ticket. The Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St. MCNY is an excellent spot to visit and learn about the city’s history, starting from its colonial days. Visitors can view paintings, maps, art, decorative costumes, and more. The museum also hosts fun exhibitions, films, and immersive installations. If your child needs noise-reduction headphones, head to the front desk; if available, you can pick up a setfree of charge during your visit. A caregiver can receive free admission at the Museum Ticket Desk. Service dogs are welcomed, but emotional support animals need to stay home. Wheelchairs are accommodated at the museum, and if available, there are manual wheelchairs available. For large print and high-contrast transcripts of exhibition texts, head to the accessibility page on the Museum of the City of New York site. There is also a QR code in the Museum Guide that you can access once you’re there. Assistive listening devices are available for events, and you can find a form online for ASL interpretation guided tours on the accessibility page. MoMA 11 West 53 Street For modern and contemporary art lovers, New York (again) has one of the best in the world. From paintings by Jackson Pollack, Pablo Picasso, and Roy Lichtenstein to world-famous photographers (Irving Penn, anyone?), sculptures, film and media art, design and architecture, and more, MoMA is one outstanding institution to visit. For families with disabilities, you can find Sensory and Social guides. Guide dogs and trained service animals are welcome, and while the pet guinea pig may bring comfort, they must stay home. For wheelchair access, look for a security or a guest guide so you do not have to wait in line. MoMA works with Art inSight, and blind or low-vision visitors can download recorded verbal descriptions of several artworks on the free Bloomberg Connects app. Email AccessPrograms@moma. org at least two weeks in advance for a touch and description tour. Visitors with disabilities are eligible for a discounted admission of $18, and admission is free for an accompanied— care partner. A huge favorite the museum features are the QR codes placed throughout

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the Museum. These QR codes include maps, additional artwork information, verbal descriptions, and assistive listening for sound artworks created to enhance your visit. There is no sensory room if your child tends to be sensory sensitive, but on the MoMa site, you can find a sensory map of quiet spaces within the museum. Whitney 99 Gansevoort St · (212) 570-3600 There are many reasons to head to the West Village; one is to spend time at the iconic Whitney Museum. The Whitney focuses entirely on American art, with each floor presenting vibrant and unique art, such as Georgia O’Keefe Edward Hopper to Layla Ali. And for our kids with disabilities and challenges, this museum offers support. The Whitney gets very busy- for wheelchair visitors, there is a helpful map; for kids on the ASD spectrum, a social narrative can be downloaded (all of this can be found under the Accessibility tab on the museum’s site) to help with the visit before you arrive. Service animals are welcome at The Whitney, and if your child needs an ASL-English interpretation, Live captioning, or Verbal description for their public programs and events, these services can be requested in advance. Parents with Sensory Sensitive kids will appreciate that the museum offers sensory-friendly artmaking workshops on select Saturdays before the Museum opens. Visit their events pages for postings. 9/11 Museum 180 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007 The 9/11 museum opened on May 21, 2014, and is a place where visitors can learn about the 9/11 attacks on a September day in 1993. At this museum, there is understandably a lot to take in. This museum has many parts; the Exhibitions are where you can see core and special exhibits. The Collection shows a permanent collection such as material evidence and more. There are also programs and events, and tours are available. For kids with children with disabilities, services dogs are allowed. Keep in mind that there is limited seating at the 9/11 museum. If you need a quiet space or your child needs a sensory time out, there is a space called Reflecting on 9/11 Studio- look for a security guard or a staff member wearing a tan or blue vest to direct you to this room. Care partners are offered one free admission ticket- email for a ticket request. Entrances are wheelchair accessible, and all public restrooms have wheelchair-accessible stalls. Many services,

such as sign language interpretation and verbal description guided tours- learn more on the 9/11 accessibility page, are available. Bronx Venues: Bronx Zoo 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY Visiting the zoo, especially in New York, is both a fun and educational experience. It also can be an all-day excursion as there is a lot of ground to cover. First, zoos can be pretty noisy, and the areas that tend to get congested are Bug Carousel, Wild Asia Monorail, Children’s Zoo, and Budgie Landing. Rhino Garden and Zebra Hill are quiet zones if you need quiet time. Working with KultureCity, you will find signage identifying quiet zones; pick up a complimentary (to be used during your visit) sensory bag that contains fidget tools, noise-reducing headphones, and more. Trained service dogs are welcome, but remember to check in with admissions when you arrive for a service dig admission pass. If you or your child needs a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) to experience the zoo, please go online to the site’s accessibility page to learn how to request a PCA in advance. All buildings are wheelchair accessible; however, certain areas require size, such as the Wild Asia Monorail. (open from May to Oct), it is accessible for manual wheelchairs up to 26 inches wide. Still, motorized scooters or wheelchairs more than 26 inches wide will need (with assistance, the staff is not allowed to transfer guests physically) to use an appropriate-sized wheelchair (available at Monorail platform) or onto a Monorail seat. We recommend downloading the access map on the Accessibility page of the Bronx Zoo’s website, as it provides helpful information from accessible routes, low-light exhibits, touch exhibits, and more. The New York Botanical Garden 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458 The NYBG is a true gem for New Yorkers at 250 acres, and as one of the world’s most extensive and known botanical gardens, it is perfect for families to visit. It is also rich in history, where you can explore plant collections and learn about culture, conservation, and more. It is also home to the famous (usually March) Orchid and Train (November) show. For people with disabilities, you will find that ticketing booths and trams are equipped with T-coil-compatible induction loops. For large-print and regular-print transcripts of the audio tours, head to the visitor center’s information booth to pick these up. Trained Service animals are welcomed; for a

service dog, you must obtain a Service Dog Admission Pass. Power-driven Wheelchairs, scooters, and power-driven mobility devices are permitted, and manual wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. On the NYBG website, you can download the accessibility guide for wheelchair routes, a social guide to prepare your child before your visit. You can also pick the guides up in the Garden. Check out the accessibility page for free upcoming tours for people with disabilities, such as ASL and sensory experience tours. Brooklyn Venues: Brooklyn Children’s Museum 145 Brooklyn Ave., Brooklyn Groups of 10 or more can access the museum on Tuesdays when it is uncrowded, as it’s closed to the general public. Service animals are permitted. Check the website for more information about the museum. Brooklyn Botanic Garden 150 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn Explore this urban botanic garden, designed to connect people to the world of plants. The grounds are accessible by paved pathways throughout the garden. But keep in mind that due to the historic nature of the garden, specific paths may be narrow, rough, uneven or steep. Accommodations for programs for visitors with disabilities can be arranged with two weeks advance notice. Contact to request accommodations. Periodically, the garden offers special earlymorning programs of facilitated, multisensory activities in the Discovery Garden for families who have children with disabilities. It also periodically offers free special guided tours designed for individuals with memory loss and their caregivers and free group tours for caregivers only. Service animals consistent with ADA are allowed onto the premises. New York Transit Museum 99 Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn The New York Transit Museum is one of the most tactile museums in the city. Most objects, including vintage train cars, can be touched. Visitors can borrow a tactile guide with graphics and images in raised-line formats and braille and a smart pen with audio descriptions. These can be requested at the admission booth or visitors can email access@ to request a tactile guide in advance of their visit. Sensory-friendly toolkits, including noise-quieting headphones, a visual schedule, and list of quieter spaces, can be checked out free of charge. It’s good to note

that the best time to visit the museum when it is quiet is between 1-4 pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Service animals are welcome.

museum with the lights and sounds turned down. Service animals are permitted on site.

Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium 602 Surf Ave., Brooklyn You’ll have an aquatic adventure at the New York Aquarium because so many amazing animals live here, including penguins, sea lions, sharks, and many others. In addition to being wheelchair-accessible, the aquarium has a partnership with KultureCity to improve the park’s ability to assist and accommodate visitors with sensory processing needs. Sensory bags containing fidget tools, noise-canceling headphones, and other resources are available for checkout at the lobby (there’s no charge, but you have to leave an ID). Service animals in accordance with the ADA are allowed in.

Queens Museum New York City Building Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY This wheelchair-accessible museum has some fun history as it was initially built for the 1964 World’s Fair and housed the New York City Pavilion. Post-fair, it was turned into the Queens Center for Art and Culture but is now known as the Queens Museum. You will find beautiful art and cultural artifacts tied to the history and Queens community at this museum. For children (and families) with disabilities, you can find at the information desk large-print labels listening devices. Service animals are permitted, but not emotional support animals. A social narrative is available online. You can find more information on the museum’s accessibility initiatives can also be found on the website.

Queens Venues: Museum of the Moving Image 36-01 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11106 For the film buffs in the family, you’ll want to head to the MoMI, where all things art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media come together. Guide dogs and therapy animals are welcome. This museum is fully accessible by wheelchair and is also available for free. On the first Saturday of each month until May 2024) there are free Access Mornings for families with children on the autism spectrum workshops where the kids can craft and explore the museum before it opens. A big plus is the reduced volume; videos not part of the workshop are not on. Call the museum for more info at 718 -777 6800.

Queens Botanical Garden 43-50 Main St., Flushing Escape from the city into this beautiful urban oasis of gardens where you’ll get immersed in nature. Since most of the pathways are paved, and the topography is flat, the Queens Botanical Garden is a great destination for kids and adults with ambulatory disabilities. But still, there are just a few periphery pathways that are not paved, so use discretion before navigating them. Braille signage is used throughout the visitor and administration building, and many learning opportunities are available for students of all abilities. Service animals in compliance with ADA are permitted.

New York Hall of Science 47-01 111 St., Corona Founded at the 1964-65 World’s Fair, the New York Hall of Science has evolved into a center for interactive science, featuring an array of exhibits and programs. The exhibit spaces, theaters, party rooms, cafe, store, and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Remember that the doors here are not automatic, though there is ramp and elevator access. If you need a wheelchair when you arrive, a limited number of them are available for loan, free of charge, at the main entrance. The museum provides sensory gear for children with sensory needs, including sunglasses, noise-canceling earmuffs, and fidget toys. Sensory Saturdays are every Saturday, from 10-11am, which is a time when people with sensory issues can enjoy the

Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo 53-51 111 St., Corona This NYC hidden gem has a national park feel and is home to animals native to North and South America, including sea lions, Andean bears, pudu (the world’s smallest deer), sun conures and other birds, and more. The zoo is wheelchair accessible, but some exhibit areas have a bit of rough terrain, including the lynx, puma, owl and coyote exhibits. Also, the zoo’s aviary–though beautiful–has steep hills, so be prepared before navigating. The zoo is compact, so most areas have noise and activity. However, there are benches near the aviary at the Nature Play area and in the farm area behind the cottage that typically have less activity and are great places to sit and regroup. Service animals in accordance with ADA are permitted.

November 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


special child

Caring for the Caregiver Tips and resources for emotional wellness and healthier wellbeing of the parents and caregivers of kids with disabilities By INCLUDENyC


s caregivers, we all grapple with the impact of stress in our lives, and how we experience, respond to, and manage it can vary greatly. This is no different for children, teenagers, and young adults. Stress management influences our well-being and profoundly affects the children under our care. In the following, we present some fundamental guidelines to help you navigate the effects of stress in your life, along with valuable resources for local mental health support. Stay connected with the people who matter and support you. Be mindful of the time spent on social media or news sources that may overwhelm or drain your energy. Dedicate daily moments to enjoyable activities! Whether through exercise, playing sports, board games, or planning quality time

24 | November 2023

with your children and family. Create a space for daily tranquility to allow your mind to relax. Be a role model for positive selfcare practices, including taking breaks, nourishing your body with healthy food, staying hydrated, engaging in regular physical activity, and ensuring adequate sleep. These practices should benefit not only yourself but also your children and loved ones. Remember, taking care of your emotional well-being is vital for your sake and those you care for. Mental Health Resources NYC Well provides free, confidential crisis counseling, mental health, and substance misuse support, information, and referrals. You can reach the toll-free helpline 24/7 by phone, text, and online chat. Mental health professionals there can connect you to the services you need. To contact NYC Well, call:

1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) 1-888-692-9355 (Español) 711 (TTY for hearing impaired) You can also reach NYC Well by texting “WELL” to 651-73 or visit their website for more information. NYC Well counselors are available 24/7. They can provide bilingual help in Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Additionally, NYC Well offers translation services in more than 200 languages. Health insurance is not required. Depending on your phone/text service, you may be charged a fee. NAMI-NYC ( supports families and adults affected by mental illness, including classes, 30+ support groups, family mentoring, and a Helpline. Their Helpline can be reached at (212) 684-3264. Vibrant Emotional Health ( provides people with emotional support and care. It runs innovative community programs for people at all stages of life and crisis lines, like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. INCLUDEnyc ( provides information and support to families of children with disabilities or delays, helping caregivers understand available resources and navigate special education, health services, and other support systems. Parents can also find peer support through INCLUDEnyc support groups in English and Spanish.

STEPPINGSTONE DAY SCHOOL, INC. A Preschool Program for Children With and Without Disabilities Not for Profit — Established in 1983


To find out more about SteppingStone Day School &ORªTHEª1UEENSªLOCATION ªCALLª-ICHELEª,A"ARR (AYNESª ªsª&ORªTHEª"RONXªLOCATION ªCALLª"ROOKEª!BRAMSª SteppingStone Day School’s Preschool Program is Funded and Regulated By The New York State Department of Education, The New York City Department of Education and Licensed by The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of Daycare





Since 1992

The Gillen Brewer School

Still searching for the right special education program for your child?

Sc ho Fa ol O ll 2 p 02 eni ng 4!

Gillen Brewer is now accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year. (limited space available for the current school year)

A special education program for children ages Pre-K - 8th grade with an integrated academic-therapeutic model that includes speech & language therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, and social groups

iss Contact Adm ions Today! Email: Phone: 212-831-3667 Website: Instagram: @gillenbrewer November 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


special child Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

The Gillen Brewer School

Stepping Stones Day School

410 E. 92nd Street, New York 212-831-3667 The Gillen Brewer School is a 12-month, special education program located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, serving children ages 2.8 to 11 years old who have a wide variety of language-based and non-verbal learning disabilities. Their academic-therapeutic program includes speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, and social groups. GBS currently serves children Pre-K-age 11 and is expanding in the Fall of 2024 to include middle school.

2826 Westchester Avenue, Bronx 718-554-2025 37 years ago SSDS opened its doors to provide services to children. The schools have remained true to the original vision which embraced the sentiment that “All children can”. SSDS continues to be at the forefront of best practices in early childhood services.

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Clowns • Characters Face Painting • Balloon Art • Magic Games • Cotton Candy • Popcorn Paint Nites for Adults & Kids too!

Party Room available for Birthday & Baby Shower Celebrations! Call (917) 579-0867 to book your party today! /ConfettiPartyPlace /ConfettiPartyPlace 3190 Westchester Avenue, Bronx, New York 10461

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November 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


calendar By Shara Levine


The Bronx Vegan Bazaar WHEN: Wednesdays, 4 – 9 pm, through Dec. 27. WHERE: Andrew Freedman Home, 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx AGES: All WHAT: This weekly event highlights local food vendors who want to share their expression of living a vegan lifestyle to improve the health of Bronx residents. WANT TO GO?: $1.

Fl!p Circus WHEN: Weekdays, 7:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm, through Nov. 19. WHERE: The Mall at Bay Plaza, 200 Baychester Avenue, Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Fl!p Circus celebrates the great American circus tradition with an all-new production featuring an incredible assemblage of international acts that are guaranteed to amaze. WANT TO GO?: $30-$80.

Children’s Book Author Signing: Luz Maria Mack WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 4, 11 am – 1 pm WHERE: Bronx Bound Books at The Mall at Bay Plaza, 200 Baychester Avenue, Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Meet talented children’s book author, Luz Maria Mack, who will share her wonderful stories and sign copies of her books. WANT TO GO?: Admission is free; $22.10 to purchase book in advance.

Diwali Puppet Show: Ramleela, A Story of Diwali WHEN: Monday, Nov. 6, 10:30

Fl!p Circus astounds at the Mall at Bay Plaza through November 19. – 11:30 am WHERE: Allerton Library, 2740 Barnes Avenue, Bronx AGES: 5 – 12 WHAT: Celebrate the festive holiday of Diwali with this puppet show. WANT TO GO?: Free.

NYC Parks Presents: Fall Festival WHEN: Nov. 11, noon – 4 pm WHERE: Play Area in HalfNelson Playground, 1631 Nelson Ave. Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy an afternoon of family games, fall crafts, and more! WANT TO GO?: Free.

Holiday Train Show WHEN: Nov. 17-Jan. 15, Tuesdays – Sundays, 10 am – 6

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pm. WHERE: New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Watch model trains zip past nearly 200 famous New York landmarks and capture your perfect holiday photos at an all new outdoor mountainscape. WANT TO GO?: $20-$35. (718) 817–8700,

Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights WHEN: Nov. 17-Jan. 7, Fridays – Sundays, 3 – 9 pm, and Nov. 30, 3 – 9 pm. WHERE: Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx AGES: All WHAT: During the evenings, the Bronx Zoo comes to life with holiday cheer as immersive light displays, custom-designed animal

lanterns and animated light shows sparkle across the zoo. WANT TO GO?: Tickets start $26.95; free for children 2 and younger.

Family Art Project: Grateful for Trees Canvas Bags WHEN: Nov. 18-19, Saturday and Sunday, 10 am – 1 pm. WHERE: Wave Hill, 4900 Independence Ave. The Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Trees give us shade, beauty and food—even oxygen! Wonder at the beauty of these important plants by cutting out leaf shapes and stamping them into your own reusable bag. Create it as a memento or to show off appreciation for trees. At 11:30am families can enjoy a storytime program in the Gund Theater, all ages welcome. WANT TO GO?: Free with


WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 12, 11 am – 3:30 pm WHERE: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy, Prospect Heights AGES: All WHAT: Children can chat with local authors and illustrators, listen to readings and watch artists sketch, get books signed, participate in bookrelated art projects, and more. WANT TO GO?: Free. (718) 638–5000, brooklynmuseum. org

admission to the grounds: $10; $8 students and seniors 65 and older; $4 ages 6-18; free for members. (718) 549–3200,

Manhattan Card Ninja WHEN: Nov. 6-24 Fridays, 7 pm, Saturdays, 2 pm, Sundays, 12 pm and 5 pm, and Nov. 24, 2 pm. WHERE: Stage 42, 422 W. 42nd Street, Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Stand-up comedy meets standout card tricks when the Card Ninja captivates the audience with wry wisecracks and dazzling displays of dexterity. WANT TO GO?: Tickets start at $24. (646) 223–3042,

Coney Island Yo-Yo Fling WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 18, 11 am WHERE: Sideshows by the Seashore, 1208 Surf Avenue, Coney Island AGES: All WHAT: Whether you’re a pro or just looking for a good time, you can learn some tricks, view the exciting ups and downs of the competition, or just soak in the unique culture of yo-yo. WANT TO GO?: $30 competitor; $25 spectator; $10 children younger than 12.

The New York City Veterans Day Parade WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 11, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm WHERE: Begins at 26th Street and Fifth Avenue, Chelsea AGES: All WHAT: Witness the largest Veterans Day commemoration in the nation. Nearly 20,000 marchers and 150+ vehicles proceed up NYC’s iconic Fifth Avenue in the heart of Manhattan: America’s Most Patriotic mile! WANT TO GO?: Free. parade.

KIDZ BOP Never Stop Live Tour WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 15, 7 pm WHERE: Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, Upper West Side AGES: All WHAT: Sing and dance along with the KIDZ BOP Kids as they perform today’s biggest hits, live on stage including “AntiHero,” “CUFF IT,” “As It Was,” and many more. WANT TO GO?: Tickets start at $54.

Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes WHEN: Nov. 17-Jan. 1, See website for complete schedule WHERE: Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas,


The Holiday Train show returns to the New York Botanical Garden. Midtown AGES: All WHAT: Embrace the festive spirit and experience the heartwarming joy of the season while making cherished memories at New York City’s favorite holiday tradition! WANT TO GO?: Tickets start at $49.

AGES: All ages WHAT: It’s festive fun with photos with Santa, meet-andgreets with beloved costumed characters, classic holiday programs, exclusive previews, arts and crafts, and a magical holiday train display. WANT TO GO?: $11-$21.50.

Circus Vazquez

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

WHEN: Nov. 17-Dec. 4, Week­ days, 7:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm WHERE: Icahn Stadium, 20 Randall’s Island AGES: All WHAT: This awe-inspiring, death-defying, hilarious live circus experience is unforgettable fun for the entire family. WANT TO GO?: $30-$90.

PaleyLand WHEN: Nov. 25-Jan. 7, Wednesdays – Sundays, 12 – 5:30 pm. WHERE: The Paley Museum, 25 W 52nd St., Midtown

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 23, 9 am – noon WHERE: Macy’s, 151 W 34th St., Herald Square AGES: All WHAT: Giant balloons, fabulous floats, exciting entertainers & more are joining this all-star celebration of Thanksgiving! WANT TO GO?: Free. macys. com

Brooklyn Seventeenth Annual Brooklyn Children’s Book Fair

Queens Calpulli Mexican Dance Company’s Día de los Muertos WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 4, 3 pm. WHERE: Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Ave South, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park AGES: All WHAT: Don’t miss this timeless love story full of rich Mexican tradition told entirely through dance and live music. WANT TO GO?: $30-$40.

Astra Lumina WHEN: Nov. 24-Jan. 1, See website for complete schedule WHERE: Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing AGES: All WHAT: This stellar journey invites stargazers to set off across the garden’s celestial pathway to encounter the wonder of the stars and embrace their own human light. WANT TO GO?: Ticket prices start from $22 for children and $29 for adults.

November 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


mom stories

Family Traditions One family’s intergenerational Thanksgiving customs By Drew Kramer


ifting a turkey is a big event,” my mother admits. She accepted the responsibility of hosting Thanksgiving this year, a holiday she owned every year since I was a child. Growing up, Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday. My older cousins made their pilgrimage from upstate New York to stay with us for the long weekend. Our family came together from all corners of Long Island to honor a day celebrating gluttony and our country’s complicated colonial history. Like good Americans, in the kitchen we trust. In the wee morning hours, during the “ugly phase” of the holiday preparation, the ritual dressing of the bird took center stage. “18 pounds of pure poultry,” my mother announced in her annual impersonation of Julia Child, your French chef. As the years went by, the size of the bird ebbed and flowed with the loss and gain of family. In recent years, with the expansion of our modern family to include step-brothers, in-laws, and 10 grandchildren, the invite list hovers around 30. After raising her hand to host in a family group text, I messaged my mother separately to assure her that I was up to the task if she decided she wasn’t, even the day before. Since moving to suburbia four years ago, I’ve stepped up to bring family together when she could not. My mother is a caretaker. In the 20 years since my stepfather’s Parkinsons diagnosis, my mother’s capacity to find joy in the manual labor of the holidays waned. “I feel like I have reached a point in my life where I recognize that, mentally and physically, I cannot do what I used to do. My husband is ill. I find myself anxious at the thought of a big event,” she acknowledged. In the irreverent, dark humor we share, she declares, “I pass the torch. The old gray mare ain’t what she used to be.” When I mention my 30 person holiday guest list, people are shocked by my appetite to take on extra work while raising two young

30 | November 2023

boys. Yes, the torch comes with domestic responsibility, but with great responsibility comes great purpose. Like my mother, I feel the magic in bringing family together for joy. It is important to me to bring familiar faces and flavors to my table in the name of tradition and kinship. It is important to me to provide a forum for cousins to come together for mischief and forward momentum. If their relationships fade, so too do the ties that connect our people for generations to come. Someday, when I’ve passed the torch to my children and theirs, I hope they’ll draw from the menu of family recipes that filled our bellies and hearts in the warmest moments of a calendar year: Cousin Dineen’s kugel; my late Aunt Debbie’s carrot soufflé; my mother’s turkey. These are the flavors that bind. Everyone does their part to keep the party alive. As a spectator, my mother is happy to bring whatever she can to ease the pain of hosting the holidays. She delights in making her signature dishes the family craves without the stress of planning and cleaning. In corners of my basement, I squirrel away folding tables and chairs. I Pinterest compostable tablescapes because I cannot sacrifice style or sustainability, while prioritizing ease in executing a celebration for 30. My family comes with food in hand, rolling up their sleeves to clean a platter and unclog the drain. The holidays teach me that

I am not alone in this. In the wake of Covid isolation, I am a conduit for connection. After years of uncomfortable distance, we are all making up for lost time. In this season of my life, I find purpose in bringing people together. As my Millennial generation grows into middle adulthood, our Boomer parents move into their golden years. This holiday season, many of us are grappling with the weight of the torch we’ve inherited. As a family leader, sandwiched between young children and aging parents, I urge you to rise to the occasion. Fight through the host anxiety, culinary pressure and cleaning exhaustion for the important milestones of the year. Let people bring food and pull up their sleeves in the kitchen. Use paper plates. Ask for help and watch relationships grow through the shared creation of this beautiful moment. When the dishes are cleared, the leftovers stored, and the grandchildren are taking apart your couch to erect a fort, sit back with your wine and know that you too are building something. Feel gratitude and connection to the generations of family that roasted the turkeys that brought all of you to this day. Know that someday, when the pounds of pure poultry become too great for you to carry, you will lean on the foundation you and generations of others established to keep the family flame ablaze.

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