Bronx/Riverdale Family - February 2024

Page 1

February 2024

A Love Story Sophie Demenge, founder of the popular children’s lifestyle line, Oeuf, on how family is first for both life and her brand

Make Memories at Sleepaway Camp!

Tooth Fairy Tales

What to know before your child’s next dental visit

Flu vs Covid Which one is it?




2100 Bartow Ave., Suite 246 Bay Plaza, Coop City Next to AMC & Dallas BBQ


February 2024

pg. 28

pg. 30 pg. 10

pg. 26


Stories & columns

8 | Health Is it the flu, COVID, or a cold?

4 | Editor’s Letter

12 | Health Immunization Schedule 2024: what parents need to know 26 | Cover Sophie Demenge’s on founding, with her husband Michael, the children’s lifestyle brand Oeuf and how family is first for both her brand and life

8 | Camp 8 top tips for saving money on summer camp 10 | Ask the Expert The right dentist matters for kids with disability challenges

pg. 14

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

Directories 16 | Charter Schools Guide

14 | Mom Hacks Teaching your kids about money 22 | Camp Sleepaway Camps: crafting memories this summer 30 | Family Day Out Must-see Elephant Exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History

on the Cover Photo: Yumi Matsuo | Makeup & Hair: Buffy Hernandez | Produced by: Donna Duarte-Ladd Cover written by: Serena Norr

February 2024 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


Editor’s Note

Nina Gallo Photography

Hey there, February Winter is here brrrr, and some of us have dusted off those winter coats after not experiencing snow in some parts of New York (701 days in the city alone!). With the colder months comes the seasonal viruses. While we aren’t doctors, we checked in with the experts, How Parents can Differentiate from the Flu, COVID or a Cold (page 8), to hopefully help you when that pesky cough sounds like it may be more. We also included the Immunization Schedule 2024 (page 12). The chilly weather is why we photographed our cover mom, Sophie Demenge, (page 26) in her family’s cozy home this month. Sophie and her husband Michael founded the children’s lifestyle line Oeuf.

This line is unique and beloved by many New Yorkers who adore the quirky touches of city life woven into some of their designs. Sophie shares with us about living in Brooklyn and why family and Oeuf will always go hand in hand. Enough about winter! We are true New Yorkers, and we’re starting to think of the warmer months ahead because this is what we do, which means Summer Camp! We know summer camps, so we have a helpful piece on Sleepaway Camps (page 22.) If you are searching for more camp info, head to our site ( for all our helpful camp fair dates and articles.

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 Partnership Managers: Lauren Alperin, Lauren Anchin, Joan Bergman, Mary Cassidy, Suzanne Cirigliano, Chris Cunnington, Lori Falco, Shelli Goldberg-Peck, LynnMarie Hanley, Lisa Herlihy, Nicole Miller, Janine Mulé, Nina Spiegelman, Gwen Tomaselli Marketing & Strategy Director: Rosalia Bobé Marketing & Events Assistant: Ashley Rivera 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

Contact Information

ADVERTISING: (718) 260-4554 Circulation: (718) 260-8336 Address: New York Family Media/Schneps Media 1 MetroTech Center North, Third Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201

Donna President: Victoria Schneps-Yunis CEO: Joshua Schneps COO: Clifford Luster 2023

New York Family has been awarded the PMA Gold Award for for Overall Design and Bronze for Website General Excellence.

get in touch Share your feedback and ideas about family life in New York! Email us at and tag us at #newyorkfamily

4 | February 2024

New York Family is published monthly by Queens Family Media, LLC. Reproduction of New York Family Media in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. ©2024 Queens Family Media, LLC

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• Tasa de graduación del 98% • Se proporciona un Chromebook gratuito a cada estudiante para apoyar la preparación universitaria. • Las clases de Dibujo Arquitectónico, Dibujo, Revit y AutoCad preparan a los estudiantes para los exámenes de certificación en el campo de la arquitectura. • Prácticas sólidas y asociaciones proporcionan a nuestros estudiantes becas en el campo de la arquitectura. • Seis consejeros en el personal para apoyar el desarrollo integral del estudiante. • Los Valores Fundamentales de AECI de Perseverancia, Logro, Integridad y Respeto desarrollan a nuestros estudiantes en jóvenes profesionales.


• Rigurosa asociación de crédito doble con la Universidad de Syracuse. • Los estudiantes pueden ganar hasta 18 créditos universitarios en AECI. • Todas las clases de doble crédito se proporcionan de forma gratuita.

PROGRAMA DEPORTIVO SÓLIDO: • Fútbol, Voleibol, Fútbol Flag, Baloncesto, Cheerleading, Béisbol, Softbol, Atletismo. • Todos los estudiantes-atletas deben ser académicamente elegibles.

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February 2024 | Bronx/Riverdale Family



Is it the Flu or COVID or a Cold? A helpful guide for parents By BarBara russo


ith flu season still upon us, viruses and early cases of respiratory illnesses on a constant news loop, it’s not hard to wonder when your child has a cold and when it is more. To make matters worse, seasonal influenza activity continues to increase in most parts of the country. As a parent, here’s what you need to know about this year’s flu season and what you can do to help keep your kids flu-free. Here are some tips on what is what when it comes to colds, flu, and Covid. But first the flu. The CDC estimates that there have been at least 1.8 million illnesses, 17,000 hospitalizations, and 1,100 deaths from flu so far this season. “At the moment, the flu season is in

8 | February 2024

high gear,” Samir Undavia, MD, attending physician, NJ ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in Marlton, NJ, said, adding that the CDC numbers include both children and adults. But to put things into a clearer perspective, this year’s flu season isn’t too different from last year’s. “Parents should expect a similar flu season to last year, which included approximately 11,000 medical visits per 100,000 kids and 119 hospitalizations per 100,000 kids,” Undavia said. Over 80 percent of severe disease were unvaccinated children, Undavia added. In New York during this flu season, cases are rising, but right now, the rates are still lower than around this time last year, according to the state health department. Symptoms of Flu in Kids As anyone who’s had the flu can attest, having it at any age is brutal. Lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluids can help a lot.

Symptoms of the flu in children and adults usually include fever, chills, muscle and body aches, fatigue, headaches, cough, sore throat, and a runny nose. But there are a few differences in symptoms between children and adults, explained Flora Sinha, MD, internal medicine at Cedars Sinai Medical Group. “Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are also common, although these symptoms are seen more in children versus adults. Children may also have higher fevers,” Sinha said. When to See a Doctor At this point, you might be wondering: The flu is often treated at home. At what point should I bring my child to the doctor? “Parents should bring their child to a doctor if they have complications from the flu, such as ear pain and pressure, shortness of breath, severe fatigue without oral intake of liquids and food, or if the symptoms

Flu vs. Covid vs. a Cold persist for longer than the flu should last, which is over 10-14 days,” explained Undavia. Sinha added that temperature and fever play a big role in when to bring your child to the pediatrician. “For very young babies–younger than 3 months–you’ll want to see your pediatrician if your child has a rectal fever of 100.4 or higher immediately,” Shinha explained. “For healthy adults and children 3 years of age and up we look for a fever that is higher than 104F and/or that won’t respond to fever reducing medications or lasts longer than 72 hours. If your child is extremely fatigued, looking lethargic, you may also bring them in.” One of the best ways for kids and adults to prevent the spread of the flu includes washing hands often Preventing the Flu Not surprising, some of the best ways for kids and adults to prevent the spread of the flu are pretty simple. It’s basically what you’d expect to do when trying to prevent other

Jenean White, MD, a family medicine physician, shared some general symptoms to look if you’re trying to identify which illness is present: Fever

Commonly present in all except cold; more sudden onset with flu


Present in all; mild to moderate with a cold


Rare in cold; common in flu; sometimes with COVID


Rare in cold; sometimes in COVID and flu


Rare in cold; common in COVID and flu

Runny or stuffy nose

Common with cold; sometimes with COVID and flu

Shortness of breath

Rare in flu and cold; sometimes in COVID

respiratory illnesses, including: • Washing hands often • Avoiding close contact with sick people. When you’re sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick. • Covering coughs and sneezes • Staying home if you’re sick

feeling well. Is it a cold? A Covid test reads negative, okay it’s the flu or is it? Needless to say, differentiating between these three respiratory illnesses can be quite difficult. Without a lab test confirming the diagnosis, identifying which illness is present can be challenging, Undavia said. But in general, colds are more mild, while the flu and Covid can be more severe.

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February 2024 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


ask the expert

Your Neurodiverse Child’s Dental Visit The right dentist matters for kids with disability challenges By Donna Duarte-LaDD


ot many of us go to a dental office excitedly; I still, from childhood visits, have needle fear. You know that long silver needle that goes in your mouth? Just why? I ask myself any time I’m in the dental chair. This is why, as parents, we can all understand why kids may face challenges when visiting the dentist. Imagine how sensory or kids with disability challenges may feel on these visits. As a mom with a child on the ASD spectrum, dental visits are one of the most challenging of doctor visits as they incorporate things my child hates to do, like sit still and have you look into his mouth. Like most special needs parents, we not only want doctors to get our kid; We need you to vibe with all the uniqueness they bring to the table or rather the chair- for these visits can be nerve-racking for them and us parents. This is why when I found Dr. Alice Hoang at Brooklyn Mint Dental, I knew we may have found ‘our person.’ Dr. Alice specializes in treating neurodiverse patients, both adults and children. The office aims to make dental visits more practical and enjoyable, which isn’t easy if you have an anxious child. I was super impressed not only with Dr. Alice and her entire office, who took the time to get to know my son, but how she slowly worked to make him comfortable and was able to get him in the medical chair without him once freaking out (she was ready with the weighted blankets and his favorite shows-brilliant.) I appreciated Dr. Alice’s advice about using a gentler three-sided toothbrush, which can do more when your child has limited teeth brushing time, and using toothpaste with fun flavors. Most notably, her understanding and natural caring personality that most special needs parents know our kids have a superpower of knowing who is real and who is not and gravitating only toward the people who naturally connect with them. I asked the doctor for some pointers for parents wondering what dental office may work for them and the questions they need to ask when choosing a dentist. How should parents approach long-term dental care planning for special needs

10 | February 2024

children? The more that guardians are mindful of their child’s triggers, sources of comfort, communication style, and behavioral profile, the easier it is for a provider to tailor their care to be more approachable. When we care for special needs children, the guardian’s input is uniquely critical to the care of their children. Appointments should be on the shorter side, especially at the beginning for special needs children, so they can get acclimated with the space and staff. Easing into treatment slowly can prevent fear leading up to future dental visits. I am not physically or mentally challenged, yet I am still not a fan of dental visits, so what strategies work for you when you have a patient with high anxieties or sensory challenges? The tools we use for our sensory-sensitive patients work for even the most anxious patients. Ultimately, our amenities are intended to ease behavioral management of our patients in most circumstances, no matter the patient’s diagnosis. What should parents look for in a dentist when seeking treatment for this child with disability challenges? The most important aspect of anyone’s

care is finding a provider they trust and feel safe with. When seeking treatment for a child with disability challenges, this applies to both the guardians and the patient. My philosophy is meeting any patient where they are to help them achieve the highest level of dental health possible. I would encourage any guardian to find a dentist that values relationships with all patients no matter their needs. Ultimately, dentistry varies from dentist to dentist, and the philosophy, values and personality of the dentist shape the practice. Is it essential for the doctor to have parental involvement, or should they (the parents) step back a bit? Collaboration is an important aspect of general dentistry, whether with other professionals and/or with our patients and their guardians. I would encourage parents to be involved in familiarizing and desensitizing the patient in the new environment. Establishing trust with the dentist helps build rapport and makes the patient feel comfortable with the parent or guardian’s support. When a treatment plan is suggested, dentists like to offer choices, explaining the difference of the pros/ cons of each option, allowing both the patient and their guardian to choose the best option with the dentist’s support. When booking the first appointment, I

would also ask the dental practice if it’s possible to have shorter appointments initially for your child to get acquainted with their new environment. With time, your child will feel more in control of their environment and less anxiety towards a new, but now familiar face. You can ask if you can bring some items that might help your child in the chair such as weighted blankets or stuffed animals, their favorite show or music cued up, noise-canceling headphones and sunglasses. Involve your child in this process so they know they have some autonomy and their opinion matters. A boost in self-esteem and confidence does wonders for everyone. Pertaining specifically to sleep needs, how does treatment for neurodiverse patients and/or patients with dental traumas differ? The assessment and screening of sleep and airway will be the same. However, the treatment may vary, and patients with prior trauma or sensory sensitivity may reject the possible options available depending on the etiology and manifestations of their trauma or sensory sensitivity.

“Establishing trust with the dentist helps build rapport and makes the patient feel comfortable with the parent or guardian’s support.” As a dentist who treats sensory-sensitive patients and children with disabilities? What measures do you take to make the dental experience more comfortable for the kids and parents? When we created Brooklyn Mint, we wanted to put the most anxious patient at ease, whether they are triggered by sensory stimulation or by the environment. In every treatment suite, we have individualized speakers for music (or white noise), a television with noise-canceling headphones, massaging heated eye masks, cooling eye masks, weighted blankets, a weighted stuffed toy, microfiber blankets, light dimmers, a selection of fidget toys, guided meditation virtual and traditional nitrous oxide as well as an option for moderate sedation. While each amenity we offer helps elevate the patient experience,

each is also very intentional and evidencebased. We also have a children’s sensory room with a nursing chair for any chest-feeding parents. More importantly, our doctors and team can ease the most anxious and/or sensory-sensitive patient. When a patient receives our initial forms, there is an “Optional Handle Me with Care Questionnaire.” When patients (or their guardians) decide to complete this form, it allows us to customize the care of our patients before they even step through our doors. We can cue preferred television shows and music, dim the lights, have any amenity readily available, and customize our approach for each patient. Dr. Alice Hoang can be found at: Brooklyn Mint Dental, 567 Pacific Street, Suite B, Brooklyn, NY 11217. 718-360-0365

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February 2024 | Bronx/Riverdale Family



Immunization Schedule 2024 What parents need to know By Kaitlyn Riggio


ith the new year comes a new, updated immunization schedule from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). This is especially important for parents of children attending school in New York. Children attending day care and pre-K through 12th grade in New York State must receive all required vaccinations from the recommended schedule in order to remain in school. We sat down with some health experts to put together this guide of what you need to know about the immunization schedule, including what it is, what’s new this year and why it’s important to follow it.

What is an immunization schedule? How is it determined, and why is it important for parents to follow it? Immunization schedules are specific guidelines on when vaccines should be administered. Determined by the ACIP, schedules are determined by factors including the patient’s age and when they received their last dose of vaccine. The immunization schedule is carefully studied and created under many levels of oversight. Health professionals do not recommend deviating from the schedule or vaccinating on a delayed schedule. “Any delay in vaccines just is putting your child at risk for these serious conditions,” says Dr. Ashley Stephens, pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University. “We don’t recommend it, and there’s actually a lot of practices who don’t allow that.” Dr. Wendy Johnson, pediatrician at Tribeca Pediatrics, says that the timing of the immunization schedule is determined to protect children from illnesses when they’d be most vulnerable to them. As a result, deviating from the schedule can have serious consequences. “That’s kind of like a hole where that particular disease can get through and their

12 | February 2024

child could get sick,” Johnson says. “And all of the things that we have vaccines for are things that potentially can cause serious harm and maybe even death.” Why is there a new immunization schedule every year? What updates to the immunization schedule should parents be aware of this year? The CDC puts out a new immunization schedule every year to keep up to date with changes in formulations of vaccines, new vaccines and updated recommendations regarding who should receive which vaccines and when. This year, the updated immunization schedule saw the addition of a new RSV vaccine (under the brand name Beyfortus) for children under eight months old and some high-risk kids between eight and 19 months old. What’s unique about Beyfortus is that it gives protection against RSV right away, meaning infants will be protected from RSV more quickly. “It’s actually giving you the protection

that your body usually develops,” Stephens says. “You don’t need those couple weeks to give protection.” Every schedule includes an updated flu shot to target new strains that may be going around, and this year the recommendations suggest that everyone six months and older should get a flu shot. Some vaccines were taken off the schedule as well, including the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-13), diphtheria and tetanus toxoid vaccine (DT), bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and Menactra. Even though a new immunization schedule is put out every year, parents shouldn’t worry if they previously vaccinated their children according to the “old” schedule. “The immunization schedule is constantly changing as new technology and data emerge,” says Dr. Whitney Casares, pediatrician and host of the Modern Mommy podcast. In cases where a child might have missed a vaccination (for example, they’ve moved to the United States from a country where cer-

tain vaccines aren’t required), Johnson says there’s a catch-up immunization schedule to get kids on track. When looking at the vaccine schedule, parents might be confused to see diseases that aren’t common anymore, like polio or measles. Why is it important to continue vaccinating against these illnesses, even when they don’t pop up much anymore? Vaccinating large groups of people for diseases that have become rare is what keeps them rare, Casares says. “Scientists call this ‘herd immunity,’” Casares says. “Even though we don’t see these diseases often, they can still re-emerge if there’s not enough immunity in a community.” Herd immunity is especially important for members of the population who aren’t able to get vaccinated. For example, children can’t get a measles vaccine until they’re a year old, so it’s up to the adults around them to get vaccinated to avoid spreading the illness. Johnson refers to diseases like these as “opportunistic,” on the lookout for any entry-

“Any delay in vaccines just is putting your child at risk for these serious conditions.” point to spread. “Even though you don’t hear about these cases, these things are still there,” Johnson says. “And if you don’t vaccinate against it, it’s like an open door.” Just because there hasn’t been a local outbreak of a disease in a while doesn’t mean the disease is gone for good. “It doesn’t make news when you say, ‘Oh, we didn’t see a case of measles this year,’” Stephens says. “But these are serious illnesses that vaccines prevent.” Some parents might be wary about vaccinating their children for different reasons. How can they manage some of

these anxieties? Casares says that while parents might have some hesitations surrounding vaccines, it’s important to remember that they’re important to keeping children healthy and safe. “It’s completely understandable that parents may worry about vaccinating their children,” Casares says. “It’s important to remember that the risk of not vaccinating kids is significantly higher than any side effects associated with the vaccines themselves.” Johnson advises parents to “stay away from Dr. Google,” as much of the information online is put out by individuals not qualified to give medical information to generate clicks. She also recommends doctor-reviewed sites like if parents are on the look out for information online. If you have questions about vaccines or anything on the immunization schedule, don’t be afraid to ask. “It’s important to talk with your pediatrician or other trusted health professionals to make sure your questions are answered and you feel confident getting the vaccine,” Stephens says.

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mom hacks

Teaching Your Kids About Money By Serena norr


y jaw dropped when my younger daughter told me that MOM stands for Made Out of Money! I had to set her straight on that one, but it had me thinking about how we talk about and teach money to our kids. Learning about money is a valuable life skill where kids and teens can understand how money works and how to budget, invest, and save. Below, we’re sharing some helpful programs and resources to help your kids understand that the meaning of MOM has nothing to do with money. One World This Westchester-based program offers an online and bi-lingual 21st Century Youth Program. Serving Middle and High School students, programming supports teens in Elmsford, Port Chester, and Ossining, covering financial and technology readiness skills. 55 Hillandale Road, Rye Brook, NY 10573. 914United 914United offers a range of classes for teens. For money, teens in Westchester can take their One Step Ahead program. A careerreadiness and financial literacy focused program, kids will gain tips as they learn how to managing money and how to stand out during a job search. 54 McGeory Ave, Bronxville, NY 10708 Teach Me Wall Street This online program teaches kids and teens the dynamics of money related to the stock market. This includes workshops, an after-school program, and a summer camp. Current classes include teen bond basics, Wall Street 101, learning about stocks, budgeting, and more. Check out their website for the latest classes. Pockets for Change This organization works with local schools

14 | February 2024

(K-12) to bring their financial literacy program to kids and teens. Recently, they partnered with The Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program to teach teens financial literacy. Pocket Change believes understanding money is a tool for self-care and social justice. The organization educates and provides tools to teens to help them discover their relationship with money, build skills to navigate financial systems and create a community for action and advocacy. biz Kid$ This TV program, focused on money for teens and kids, teaches how to make money and start businesses. Additionally, this includes easily accessible workshops and lessons online. Some programs include budgeting basics, understanding allowance, money math, banking, and more. Get Your Child a Kid Credit Card If you have been considering a credi card for your child a smart way to teach kids about credit cards by getting them a kidversion. Kids can learn how to save, invest, build credit, use them to make purchases, and even earn rewards. Some kid-friendly options include Greenlight (, Step (, and Go Henry Debit Card

( Additionally, all of these cards include a phone app where you can monitor your child’s spending and savings. Greenlight, for instance, also includes features that track chores and savings goals. Additionally, you can also receive real-time alerts, block spending categories, and limit their spending. Help Them Create a Budget Teach kids the importance of saving by creating a family budget together. Be realistic about your weekly spending as you show your child how much money comes in and out per week. As you do this, you are showing them the importance of managing money as well as how money literally doesn’t grow on trees. Help Them Get a Job When your child reaches the early teen years, encourage them to get a job and make their own money. This can be as simple as an every now and again babysitting job to working at a local store. As they bring in money, teach them how to put money away in savings (or on their debit card) and how much can be used for fun. This will allow them to both grow their money and learn that they can enjoy it, too.

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Technology’s Child: Empowered Parenting in the Digital Age Katie Davis, Ph.D. Tuesday, March 5, 2024, 4 p.m. ET From toddlers exploring their immediate environment to twentysomethings charting their place in society, children’s “screen time” and digital social relationships have become an inescapable aspect of growing up. Professor and author Katie Davis, Ph.D., draws on her expertise in developmental science and design research to clarify what parents need to understand about technology’s role at each stage of their child’s development.

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charter schools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Advanced Math and Science II 900 Tinton Ave. Bronx 718-665-3671 ams2admissions@charter. Advanced Math and Science II (AMS II) is a nationally recognized, exemplary, high-performing school often described as a family. Every student in the building has an adult they feel close to and can count on. Students are deeply cared for, and rigorous support is offered to ensure all students meet their full potential. AMS II is a place where all students will be challenged to be the best version of themselves.

AECI 1: The New York Charter High School for Architecture, Engineering and the Construction Sciences 900 Tinton Ave. Bronx 718-665-3671 ams2admissions@charter. Advanced Math and Science II (AMS II) is a nationally recognized, exemplary, high-performing school often described as a family. Every student in the building has an adult they feel close to and can count on. Students are deeply cared for, and rigorous support is offered to ensure all students meet their full potential. AMS II is a place where all students will be challenged to be the best version of themselves.

Amani Public Charter School 60 S Third Ave., Mount Vernon 914-668-2553 The Mission of Amani Public Charter School is to provide 100% of Mount Vernon students who attend the school from 5th-8th

grade with the academic and critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in competitive high school programs, college, and the career of their choice.

American Dream Charter School 652 W. 187th St. 347-975-2745 The American Dream School in Washington Heights, opening fall 2024, offers a distinctive bilingual education, starting with Kindergarten and 1st Grade and expanding to 5th Grade in future years. Committed to academic excellence in Spanish and English, the school aims to cultivate future leaders. Its program focuses on a solid bilingual foundation and life skills development. Ensuring students maintain language proficiency and gain English fluency, applications for this unique educational opportunity are now open!

Atmosphere Academy Public Charter Schools 6th & 7th Grade Campus: 22 Marble Hill Avenue, Bronx 8th Grade Campus: 3700 Independence Avenue, Bronx 9th Grade Campus: 5959 Broadway, Bronx 10th & 11th Grade Campus: 3893 Waldo Avenue, Bronx 718-696-0745 Atmosphere Academy is a tuition-free public charter middle and high school in the Marble Hill and Riverdale sections of the Bronx. Atmosphere’s rigorous academic program is intentionally designed to promote experiential learning and provide socialemotional support for our scholars. If you are looking for a high-quality middle school or high school, apply to Atmosphere Academy Today!

ES E SO Open pen H House: ouse: February 1st F ebruary 1 st at 9AM a t9 AM

Your Y our L Leadership eadership Journey S tarts H ere. Journey Starts Here.

HS H SO Open pen H House: ouse: February 1st February 1 st at at 5PM 5PM

Founded in 2006, LION Charter School largest independent K-12 charter school in New York City, serving nearly 1,000 students. Our academic and character programming emphasize college and career readiness, social and emotional wellness, and personal growth to ensure our students receive the support they need to achieve their full potential. Apply now to start your child’s leadership journey with LION!

K-8: 730 Bryant Ave./ 9-12: 830 Hunts Point Ave, Bronx, NY 10474 (718) 991-5500

16 | February 2024

Apply A pply f for or 2024-2025 2 024-2025 by 1st by April April 1 st

“I truly believe that had I gone to a different school, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.


ELIJAH WESTBROOK, Emmy Award Winning Journalist, CBS New York I KIPP STAR Charter School Alumnus

February 2024 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


charter schools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Brilla Public Charter Schools Brilla College Prep Elementary - 413 E 144th St. Brilla College Prep Middle School - 230 Alexander Ave. Brilla Veritas - 600 E 156th St. Brilla Veritas Middle - 500 Courtlndt Ave, Brilla Caritas - 2336 Andrews Ave. Brilla Pax - 2336 Andrews Ave. 347-273-8439 Brilla Public Charter Schools, K-8 schools in the classical tradition, help students to grow intellectually, socially, and physically into young men and women of good character and spirit and to be prepared for excellence in high school, college, and beyond. Still accepting applications for the 2023-24 school year. Applications for the 2024-25 school year are now available. Families can apply for seats in grades K-8 in Mott Haven,

K-6 in Melrose, and K-3 in University Heights.

Leaders In Our Neighborhood (LION) Charter School

Broome Street Academy Charter High School

K-8: 730 Bryant Avenue, Bronx, NY 10474 9-12: 830 Hunts Point Avenue, Bronx, NY 10474 718-991-5500 admissions@lioncharterschool. org Founded in 2006, LION Charter School is a public, K-12, college-preparatory school serving nearly 1,000 students, over 700 families, and more than 600 alumni in the Hunts Point neighborhood. They are the largest independent K-12 charter school in New York City. Their academic and character programming emphasize college and career readiness, social and emotional wellness, and personal growth, to ensure the students receive the support they need to achieve their full potential.

121 Avenue of the Americas 646-969-6797 admissions@ Broome Street Academy, a public charter high school in SoHo, offers a dynamic environment with holistic resources including arts, college, and career programs, co-located with The Door. Social workers provide individualized support and dedicated teachers guide students toward graduation. BSA also offers athletics, clubs, and AP courses. Applications for the 9th-grade lottery for the 2024-2025 school year are open until April 1,2024 with limited seats available for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students.

Mott Hall Charter School 1260 Franklin Ave., Bronx 718-991-9139 Mott Hall’s mission is to prepare scholars in mind, body, and character to succeed in top high schools, colleges, and careers. Mott Hall offers access to community-based organizations focused on mentoring, adult civics classes, adult ESL classes, engaging online platforms to increase student learning, after-school and Saturday tutoring, art, music, softball, basketball, and much more!

WHIN Music Community Charter School 517 West 164th Street, New York, NY 844-489-0817 WHIN Music Community Charter School is built on the principles of El Sistema

We Teach for the 21st Century Our education program is grounded in evidence-based research on how students learn best.

1260 Franklin Ave., Bronx, NY 10456 •� The mission of the Mott Hall Charter School is to prepare our scholars in mind, body, and character to succeed in top high schools, colleges, and careers by becoming inquisitive, open-minded, and compassionate citizens of the world.

ENROLL TODAY! The Mo� Hall Charter School is Accep�ng Applica�ons for the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade! Scan code or go to mo� to apply Our programs include access to community-based organiza�ons focused on mentoring, adult civics classes, adult ESL classes, engaging online pla�orms to increase student learning, a�er school and Saturday tutoring, art, music, so�ball, basketball, and much more! For more informa�on, please contact Erica Flores at: eflores@mo� or 718-991-9139 iHablamos Español!

RISE TO THE CHALLENGE! 18 | February 2024


Scan here to Apply!



APPLY TODAY! IG: @newvisionsAMS2

New Visions Charter High Schools

New Visions Charter High School for Advanced Math & Science II

900 Tinton Ave, Bronx, NY 10456 General Inquiries: Call: 718-665-3671










900 TINTON AVENUE, BRONX, NEW YORK 10456 Bx6 to 163 Street/Tinton Ave Bx17 to Prospect Ave/E 163 Street Bx4 to Westchester Ave/Prospect Ave Bx46 to Prospect Ave/Westchester Ave 2 5 to Prospect Avenue 6 to Longwood Avenue


February 2024 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


charter schools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

where staff, families, and students work together to ensure every child reaches their full potential. The school makes academics a priority while also ensuring students’ character and social-emotional growth. With music at the school’s core, students work together to create something bigger than their individual skills, and this approach extends to their classrooms where projectbased, hands-on learning cultivates curious, creative, and hardworking children. Visit the website for more information and Apply for 2024-25 at

Zeta Charter Schools Zeta Bronx Mount Eden Early Childhood School 1325 Jerome Ave. Zeta Bronx Mount Eden Elementary School 1475 Macombs Rd. Zeta Bronx Tremont Park Elementary School

20 | February 2024

1910 Arthur Ave. Zeta South Bronx Elementary School 425 Westchester Ave. Zeta Bronx Middle School 425 Westchester Ave. 716-226-0192 Zeta schools are free, high-performing schools that combine a caring, whole-child approach and world-class academics with unrivaled opportunities for students to discover joy through art, dance, chess, music, sports and Taekwondo. Zeta’s approach helps students develop the confidence, awareness, and knowledge to prepare them for future access and leadership. Zeta’s Bronx schools will serve children from Pre-K through 7th grade for the 2024-25 school year and grow by a grade each year to eventually serve students through 12th grade. 121 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013 • 212-453-0295

Charter high SChool

February 2024 | Bronx/Riverdale Family




CampS Crafting memories this summer


onths before summer, many parents entertain an age-old question: how can we make this summer special for their kids? One tradition is summer sleepaway camps. Sleepaway camps nourish kids while giving them a break from everyday routine, whether from the city or from playing videos all day (#iykyk.), This allows kids to step out of their comfort zones after a long school year and explore new or familiar friendships in a supportive and supervised setting. These camp experiences contribute to personal development, resilience, and a deeper connection. The best part is that there is a camp for every kid that is the perfect fit for a fantastic summer. Check out our picks!

Camp Tuku Huguenot, N.y., 12746 928-224-5855,

Camp Chateaugay 233 Gadway Road, merrill, Ny 12955

Tucked away on the pristine shores of a beautiful mountain lake in New York’s Adirondacks, Camp Chateaugay has been the summer “home away from home” for campers aged 7 -17 years old, since 1946. Camp Chateaugay is a co-ed, traditional, sleep-away summer camp focused on building independence, self confidence and friendships as well as providing world-class training in a variety of land sports, water sports, and arts — all while having fun and creating life-long memories. Camp Chateaugay offers campers the chance to unplug from technology and connect with nature. They provide a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment with experienced and passionate staff who are dedicated to ensuring every camper has an unforgettable summer, filled with fun, learning and growth.

22 | February 2024

Camp Tuku is a traditional sleepaway camp with a mindful approach! With summer camps hosted in Mayer, Arizona, and Huguenot, NY, Camp Tuku welcomes girls and boys ages 6-17 from all over the country. In everything they do – from yoga, innovations, archery, low ropes, arts & crafts, swimming, and pet care – they do it mindfully, always integrating the mind, body, and heart to build resilience in their campers! In collaboration with Emory University’s Center for Contemplative Science (The Center), Camp Tuku has integrated its mindfulness summer camp program with The Center’s SEE Learning™ curriculum, integrating competencies, resources, and skills that support kids’ well-being and flourishing. Campers will build relationships and focus on community while building resilience, confidence, focus, reflection, and awareness.

Dorothy P Flint 4-H Camp

Frost Valley YMCA

3186 Sound Ave. Riverhead NY 11901

2000 Frost Valley Road, Claryville, NY 12725 845-985-2291,

Dorothy P.Flint 4-H Camp is proudly embarking on its 100th year of creating unforgettable memories! Nestled on the picturesque Long Island Sound in Riverhead, NY, the 140-acre co-ed overnight and day camp is a haven for campers aged 5-16. DPF 4-H Camp celebrates diversity and provides a nurturing environment for youth to reach their fullest potential as capable, competent, and caring citizens. 4-H educational programs are designed to inspire curiosity, creativity, and a love for learning in our natural world, ensuring that each camper’s experience is fun and enriching. Programs in Archery, Nature & Ecology, Outdoor Living & Cooking, Farm & Agriculture, Sport & Recreation, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts & Crafts.

Frost Valley YMCA is the premier summer camp in the heart of New York’s Catskill Mountains, just a few hours from New York City. At Frost Valley YMCA, your camper can participate in sports, arts and crafts, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, canoeing, swimming, singing, storytelling around the campfire, sleeping underneath a canopy of stars, and so much more! Frost Valley is guided by 8 core values: caring, community, diversity, honesty, inclusiveness, respect, responsibility, and stewardship, which are infused into all camp programs. At Frost Valley, children and teens become campers for life. Help your child experience the magic of camp for the upcoming Summer of 2024! Tiered pricing and financial assistance are available.

Ghostlight Theater Camp

Incarnation Camp

7 Camp Eastwood Circle 207- 358-0641,

253 Bushy Hill Road, Ivoryton, CT 06442

Unleash the Spotlight at Ghostlight Theater Camp! Elevate your child’s summer with the ultimate stage experience! Their unrivaled productions, dynamic classes, and engaging activities set them apart as the premier theater camp. Immerse your young stars in a world of creativity where every moment is a chance to shine. At Ghostlight, they cultivate more than talent; they build confidence and independence. Their carefully crafted program empowers campers to discover their unique voices, fostering lifelong skills that extend beyond the stage. With top-notch instructors, cutting-edge productions, and a supportive community, your child will leave Ghostlight Theater Camp with newfound skills and a shining sense of self.

Incarnation Camps - Wilderness adventure & classic summer camp fun! Located in coastal Connecticut, on over 700 wooded acres surrounding a mile-long private lake, Incarnation Camps are the country’s oldest coed camps. Since 1886, they have provided programming that offers funfilled, traditional camp experiences with experiential learning and many options for campers, including ceramics, sports, woodworking, arts & crafts, sailing, archery, farm care, music, and so much more! Campers are guided through well-rounded & adventurous programs that develop an appreciation for nature & celebrate the uniqueness of each individual. Incarnation Camp programs serve over 1000 campers each summer, and our alumni network is far-reaching. February 2024 | Bronx/Riverdale Family



Woodward Action Sports Camp Pocono Springs Camp 48 Pocono Springs Way, East Stroudsburg PA 18302

Located in the Pocono Mountains, just 75 miles from NYC, Pocono Springs offers a unique concept in the world of sleepaway camps: a traditional co-ed camp experience in a 5-week program. Their five-week program allows families to provide their children with a full-season summer camp experience while also having the flexibility for family travel, specialty camps, and other summer fun outside of camp. Additionally, they’re not a session camp! This means every camper starts and ends together - creating a truly cohesive community filled with down-to-earth families and mature staff who are genuinely excited to be part of your camper’s growth. A three-week “intro program” is available for 1st year campers entering grades 2nd-5th.

Woodward, PA 814-349-5633,

For those who love action sports, a week at Camp Woodward is beyond anything you could imagine. With a more than 50-year legacy of teaching kids the art of balance and agility, Woodward knows what it takes to learn and progress in the most popular action sports. That is why they have built the most innovative parks, hired the most capable instructors, and partnered with the world’s top action sports athletes to create the ultimate summer camp experience. All located on a beautiful 48-acre campus, the summer camp experience at Woodward includes a wide range of recreation activities in addition to sports instruction and competition. Plus, Woodward’s supportive community, fueled by a shared passion for action sports culture, lifts all athletes and ignites their complete potential. There’s simply no place like it.

Check us out Online! We’re the #1 print & digital lifestyle platform for engaged parents in New York. Visit to check it out and sign up for our weekly newsletters!

24 | February 2024


8 Top Tips for Saving Money on Summer Camp by Jess Michaels


hen you decide to send your child to camp, you are giving them the opportunity to try new activities, meet new people, gain independence, and learn about who they are as individuals, among so many other benefits. Camp is an amazing experience; however, parents have their family budgets to consider. Here are a few ways for families to save money on summer camp: Look for camp early – It’s not too early to start thinking about camp for summer 2025. Looking early and registering for camp in the summer or early fall will help you save money by taking advantage of the early bird rates camps offer. This is also a good way to ensure you get a spot at your top choice camp. Begin your research now to understand which camps you would like to tour this summer. Seeing a camp in action is one of the best ways to get a feel for a camp. Scholarships & financial assistance – If you are looking for a camp that offers scholarships, financial assistance, and sliding scales, start your search with non-profit summer camps. Families can also reach out to the

American Camp Association, NY, and NJ for a list of camps that financial assistance. Assistance offered from the U.S government – The government offers programs that may help families save money on summer camp. • Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) – A Dependent Care FSA is a pre-tax benefit account that allows you to pay for dependent care such as day camp while you are working. Visit the FSA Feds Website at www.fsafeds. com for more information. • Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit -The IRS allows an income tax credit of up to $6,000 of dependent care expenses if you have two or more dependents and up to $3,000 for one dependent. Day camps can count towards the children and dependent care tax credit. Visit for more information. Work at camp – Do you enjoy working with children or are you in a profession such as education, social work or nursing? Summer camps are always looking for qualified, enthusiastic adults to work at camp. Besides a competitive salary, many camps will offer your child a discount for camp. Sibling discount – Did you know many

camps offer savings for registering multiple children at camp? Take advantage of these savings by sending more than one child to camp. Give the gift of camp – Giving your child the opportunity to go to summer camp truly is a gift so why not make it part of a birthday or holiday gift. Does your child need that big birthday party and more toys? Asking extending family to contribute to camp as a gift is also a great idea. The skills and experiences gained at summer camp will last for a lifetime while that new toy may be fun for a couple of months. Beware of too good a deal – We all have our budgets to consider but beware of a camp deal that seems too good to be true. Your child’s safety needs to be at the top of mind with any camp decision you make so please do your research. At a minimum, a camp should be inspected by the Department of Health. Choosing an ACA Accredited camp means that the camp goes above and beyond state licensing and meets hundreds of health and safety standards. Call the American Camp Association, NY and NJ – If you would like to send your child to camp, there is a camp for every budget. Families can reach out to the American Camp Association, NY and NJ’s Camper Placement Specialist Renee Flax for free, one-on-one advice on finding the right camp at the right price for your family. Contact: or 212-391-5208.

February 2024 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


A New York Love Story Sophie Demenge on founding with her husband Michael, the children’s lifestyle brand Oeuf and how family is first for both her brand and life

By Serena norr


or many New Yorkers, when one hears any conversation regarding the brand Oeuf (, the line French born Sophie Demenge started over 20 years ago with her husband, Michael Ryan, many have the same reaction, mostly of Ahhh. Memories may toggle somewhere from nostalgia to aspirational home goals. For us parents who now have kids in their tween and teenage years, we have memories of that dreamy baby stage where we chose a unique item or two (or three!) and placed it delicately in our baby’s room or carefully hunged in the closet. Then we recall with a warmth how each room, each closet, was eventually upgraded to reflect a new stage with Oeuf’s beautiful pieces. Which is the point. Oeuf was created to design their daughters’ room with a modern and high quality (non-existent at the time) that evolved into a brand renowned for its modern, sustainable, and durable furniture and clothing. This further expanded when their son was born, and they haven’t looked back. Over the years, their Prospect Park home - particularly the kids’ rooms - became the backdrop of many photoshoots (where we recently enjoyed spending time during this cover shoot!). Today, Sophie, Michael, and their small team (which is a family affair as it sometimes includes help from their kids: Mae, now 21, and Marius, now 19) continue to be strongly rooted in their values of craftsmanship and quality. Much of Sophie’s design and focus on sustainability comes from her background growing up in France, surrounded by quality products that weren’t thrown away. Oeuf and family are still growing as the brand and Sophie, now an empty nester, evolve into new designs and new adventures. Read on to learn more about this seasoned mom and entrepreneur who embraces life - and her business - with heart, love, and a mission to always stay true to herself.

26 | February 2024

Tell us about the history of Oeuf and how you and your husband, Michael Ryan, created it 21 years ago? We kind of created it by necessity because in 2002, there was really nothing. It was a very different landscape in the kids’ design space, especially in furniture. At the time, we actually had another design business for grownups where we were creating ceramics wood, one-of-a-kind pieces, and metal pieces. Since we had that business, we already had a design studio in Brooklyn. So, when I was expecting, Michael and I started looking around for furniture where we realized that there was this giant gap. So, we decided to make everything for my daughter in the studio, and it took off. At first, we actually didn’t plan on making it a business. The pieces were just for her. We curated and made her rugs, the bedding, the crib, all the furniture, and the toys. It was really, really fun to do. When they went to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in NYC where we presented some of our kids’ stuff. A few weeks later, we were in The New York Times! It was incredible, but I think people saw that there were items out there that weren’t made well or clunky. Plus, they weren’t a variety of great design and kids were not kind of honored that way. We kept designing things for the kids and continued to expand. Two-and-a-half years later, I had my son, Maus and then we made a toddler bed. We then made a desk, a bunk bed, and expanded to clothing. While we did still have the other business, we realized that what we were creating at Oeuf was a lot more fun and went for it. What has been the experience like working with your husband? We do very different things that compliment each other. We have a division of labor and tasks. It has changed and evolved over the years. Sometimes it does feel like we are in a never-ending round of couples therapy and other times it’s exhilarating. I

think it’s important to be able to separate marriage and our work relationship a little bit. We also know each other so well and know when we need to leave when one of us needs a bit more space. We’re also both goofballs and laugh a lot. I think that’s the super glue in the relationship. I also still feel like we’re in this 20-year-old startup where we’re still learning. We’ve had to adapt together really quickly, and even when we feel like we have a handle on things, something else happens. This is very similar to parenting and nice to know that Michael is the one I can bounce ideas off of and connect with about everything from parenting to business. Have you ever felt the need to change your products over the years to conform to trend? We believe in staying true to ourselves and I don’t think we are influenced by the outside world. We try to do what makes sense and we’re not trying to please anyone or even guess what people want. As with our history, we created what was best for our own children and it resonated. We only launch a new product when we’re excited about something or when we feel like it is missing in the market. Tell us how your now-grown children are involved in Oeuf. It’s wonderful! They’ve done really everything from the behind the scenes styling to modeling when they were newborn to helping out at photo shoots or selling at sample sales! They’ve also grown up in this world since a lot of our photo shoots are held at home. They’re used to seeing stylists, photographers,and people come in and out of their rooms with equipment. The business has become a part of our creative family adventure. However, they do have their own lives- and I welcome them back to help whenever they are around. What was it like raising Mae and Marius in Brooklyn? How was it different from your experience growing up in Paris?

mothers who are inundated with products. I actually think you don’t need much. For example, in France we don’t throw things away. In our line, we encourage people to resell items, use them on other kids, or give them a friend. This is our sustainable model, which is rooted in our design and mission. Tell us about what it’s like now that your kids are older and you are in the empty nester phase - what are you excited about? I’m really excited when they come home but I also love seeing them out in the world and becoming their own people. I actually like being in the background (of their lives) where I almost become irrelevant. I think a great testament to my parenting is to let them shine and be their own people. In terms of my day-to-day, it freed up some time, including my mental time. Women and mothers take on so much that we don’t even realize. I feel like I was wearing these different backpacks - like what’s for dinner or appointments - that I don’t have to be burdened with. I’m also a new empty nester cause my son just graduated from high school so I haven’t even really figured out how I want to use this newfound energy. Especially, as a mom, I think we always put ourselves last. I don’t even know what I would love to be doing yet, because I’m so used to doing everything for everybody else. It’s also shocking (in a good way) to have this time. I think having more time with friends, and even reading a book is going to be amazing. There’s this French comedian who says that being an empty nester is kind of like being a teenager with a credit card. I resonate with that a lot in this stage.

Photo by Yumi Matsuo

I started out as a mom in the East Village. When May was two, two years old, we moved to Brooklyn. I wanted her to have a community and roots. I find Brooklyn very similar to Paris in that way. When I grew up in Paris, I always walked to school, which is similar to how they grew up in Park Slope. We used to walk everywhere. When they were younger, the kids would walk to the orthodontist or to their friends’ house or for sleepovers. Brooklyn feels like a village (like Paris) that I love. I also love having access to Prospect Park, which is similar to my walks to the Luxembourg Garden. Now, it is also beautiful to see my kids’

connection to France. We all go all the time. My daughter actually lived there last year and wants to move back when she graduates. My son is there now, too! What do you think influences your design sensibility? I think design and creativity is very personal. We’re not really a big consumer type of family so I think there’s this French sensibility from how I grew up about quality and not quality. When we first started, we would tell people to buy less, really buy less. Especially young

Is there anything about the brand you’d like to share that people might not be familiar with. Consistency and quality is important to us where all of the furniture is made in Europe for the past 20 years. Michael often goes to Latvia where the products are made as well as Bolivia where our knitters live. We even invited the five original knitters to spend a week with us in Brooklyn. At the end of the day, our family (and the people who work for us) are interwoven in the business. At the end of the day that’s what really matters. Discover more about Oeuf at and on Instagram @oeufnyc.

This piece has been edited for clarity and brevity. To read the entire cover article please visit

February 2024 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


calendar By Shara Levine


WHERE: Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, 895 Shore Road, City Island AGES: All WHAT: Learn about the history of valentines and the printed “scraps” used to make them in the 19th century while you craft your own original card. WANT TO GO?: $15. (718) 885–1461,

Stem Creativity With Kelly WHEN: Feb. 1-29, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 3 – 4:45 pm WHERE: Gymnasium in Kwame Ture Recreation Center, 1527 Jesup Avenue, Highbridge AGES: All WHAT: Work on projects inspired by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics! WANT TO GO?: Free.

Valentine’s Day Cards Holiday Workshop WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 11, 12:30 – 2:30 pm WHERE: Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center, 3225 Reservoir Oval East, Norwood AGES: All WHAT: This fun do-it yourself, Valentines’ arts and crafts program teaches how to create projects. WANT TO GO?: Free.

Family Art Project: Digging into the Science of George Washington Carver WHEN: Feb. 3-4, Saturday and Sunday, 10 am – 1 pm WHERE: Wave Hill, 4900 Independence Ave., Riverdale AGES: All WHAT: In honor of George Washington Carver, find out how soil affects the food we eat by making colorful still-life creations. WANT TO GO?: Included with admission: $4-$10; free for children younger than 6. (718) 549–3200,

Blippi at The New York Botanical Garden

Storytime with The Bronx is Reading WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 3, 3 – 4 pm WHERE: Andrew Freedman Home, 1125 Grand Concourse, Highbridge AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy a live reading, experience the beautiful Andrew Freedman Home, and snag a new, signed book for your home library. WANT TO GO?: Free.

Afrique en Cirque WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 4, 4 pm WHERE: Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West,

Catch the high-flying Afrique en Cirque at the Lehman Center for Performing Arts on February 4. Jerome Park AGES: All WHAT: Inspired by daily life in Guinea, see acrobats execute gravity-defying moves and human pyramids, accompanied by the contemporary sounds of live Afro-Jazz, percussion, and kora. WANT TO GO?: $43-$63. (718) 960–8833,

WHERE: Woodlawn Heights Library, 4355 Katonah Avenue, Wakefield AGES: All WHAT: Travel along with Jenny the Giraffe in search of elephants, lions, tigers, and safari magic! WANT TO GO?: Free.

Safari Adventure Show

Valentine’s Day Crafting and Card Making Workshop

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 8, 4 – 5 pm

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 – 11:30 am

28 | February 2024

WHEN: Feb. 19-25, Daily, 11 am, 1:30 pm, and 3:30 pm; except Feb. 22. WHERE: New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Belmont AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy an interactive experience with Blippi that encourages kids’ curiosity of plants from seed to flower with a photo op after! WANT TO GO?: $35; $31 seniors 65 and older and students with ID; $15 ages 2-12. (718) 817–8700,

Manhattan HERO’s ‘The Winter Forest of the Northern Lights’ WHEN: Daily, 11 am – 9 pm, through March 31. WHERE: Rockefeller Center, 45 Rockefeller Plaza, Midtown



AGES: All WHAT: Step into an underground Winter Forest to explore seven zones of wonder and be transported to the ultimate viewing of the Aurora Borealis. WANT TO GO?: $20. hero-nyc. com

The Sleeping Beauty WHEN: Saturdays & Sundays 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm through April 14 and Feb. 19-23, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm WHERE: Puppetworks Inc, 338 Sixth Avenue, Park Slope AGES: 3 and older WHAT: See Perrault’s fairy tale set to Tchaikovsky’s music and adapted for Marionettes. WANT TO GO?: $11; $10 children.

The Magic School Bus: Lost In The Solar System WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 11, 11 am WHERE: BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St., Tribeca AGES: 5 – 12 WHAT: Hop on the bus and blast into outer space with Ms. Frizzle for an epic interplanetary field trip! WANT TO GO?: $40.

360 ALLSTARS WHEN: Feb. 17-March 3, see website for complete schedule. WHERE: The New Victory Theater, 209 W 42nd Street, Midtown AGES: All WHAT: See world recordholding athletes and artists show off their mad skills in freestyle basketball, BMX biking, breakdancing, acrobatics and more. WANT TO GO?: Tickets start at $24. (646) 223–3010,

Harlem Globetrotters WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 24, 1 pm WHERE: Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, Midtown AGES: All WHAT: See the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters as they dribble, spin, slam, and dunk their way past their relentless rivals, the Washington Gene

BAMkids Film Festival 2024

Do a family art project inspired by George Washington Carver at Wave Hill on February 3 and 4. that features a blend of horns, percussionists, and vocalists. WANT TO GO?: $20. (718) 793–8080, kupferbergcenter. org

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2:15 pm & 1 pm. WHERE: Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing AGES: 3 and older WHAT: Join Mr. Hatch as he searches for his secret admirer and enjoys the biggest surprise of his life in this heart-warming puppet play. WANT TO GO?: $5 pre-show workshop; show: $15; $8

children. (718) 463–7700,

Lunar New Year at the Garden WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 18, noon – 4 pm WHERE: Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St, Flushing AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with lion dance performance, music, crafts, and more. WANT TO GO?: FREE; $5 Suggested Donation. (718) 886–3800, queensbotanical. org

WHEN: Feb. 3-4, Saturday and Sunday, see website for schedule WHERE: BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Ave., Boerum Hill AGES: 3 and up WHAT: See some of this year’s best short films for kids from around the world including the latest and greatest animated, live action, and documentaries. WANT TO GO?: $14; $10 children; $9 members.

The Rock and Roll Playhouse Plays the Music of Rihanna + More for Kids WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 11, 12 – 1 pm WHERE: Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg AGES: All WHAT: Don’t Stop the Music and celebrate Black History Month and the Super Bowl with the songs of Rihanna at this concert for kids. WANT TO GO?: $16.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey

Queens Family Concert: Cubop to Hip-Hop! WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 10, 3 – 4:30 pm WHERE: LeFrak Concert Hall, 153-49 Reeves Ave, Flushing AGES: All WHAT: Get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Steven Salcedo’s Latin-Soul Group, a high-energy collective


Craft Valentine’s Day cards inspired by 19th century originals at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum on February 10.

WHEN: Feb. 22, 7 pm; Feb. 23, 2 pm & 6 pm; Feb. 24, 11 am, 3 pm & 7 pm; Feb. 25, 11 am & 3 pm. WHERE: Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill AGES: All WHAT: Witness a spectacle of superhuman feats including daring and never-before-seen acts on a high wire, trapeze, bicycle, and much, much more. WANT TO GO?: Tickets start at $39.85.

February 2024 | Bronx/Riverdale Family


family day out

Celebration of Elephants Must-see exhibit at American Museum of Natural History By BarBara russo


f you haven’t yet - it is time to walk into the new The Secret World of Elephants exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, and you’ll get a sense of just how amazing these gentle giants are in the wild. In a narrow but sprawling curatorial space at the uptown museum, The Secret World of Elephants, now opened, tells the story of elephant species and their relatives through life-size models, videos, graphics, and more. “We are delighted to present The Secret World of Elephants, a comprehensive look at these intriguing and important animals and the latest scientific thinking about their abilities, environmental roles, social structure, history and future,” Sean M. Decatur, president of the American Museum of Natural History, said. “This exhibition is an example of what the American Museum of Natural History does so well: by starting at a point of shared curiosity and fascination we can share larger stories about evolution, the environment, animal behavior, and the interactions between human and animals, thereby expanding understanding of the natural world and our impact on it.” What to Expect at The Secret World of Elephants Some of us have been fortunate enough to see an elephant at a zoo or even in the wild. However, the new museum exhibit allows visitors of all ages to learn more about these beautiful creatures. The Secret World of Elephants offers so much insight into these animals through interactive exhibits including: A station where visitors can feel the extremely low sound waves elephants use— called infrasound—to send messages through the ground and to other elephants’ feet, which conduct vibrations up their legs and to their brains A life-size African elephant model with a video projection on one side of its body showing the skeleton of this massive mammal and

30 | February 2024

providing an inside look at how it processes the huge amount of food it eats—about 300–500 pounds per day—and elephant gestation, which can last for nearly two years, longer than any other living mammal A miniature elephant model that prompts visitors to turn a wheel to flap its ears, a process that helps elephants keep cool in hot environments And—brace yourself!—an exploration of elephant poop, featuring replica dung, that provides key nutrients for plants and other animals and helps expand plant ranges by transporting seeds. (Pretty fascinating!) Additionally, life-size models, including a scientifically accurate representation of a woolly mammoth shedding its fur, fossils and casts, and videos reveal the amazing story of these massive mammals. A Bit About Elephants It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t see how majestic elephants truly are. By the way, there are three species of elephants native to two continents: the African savanna, African forest and Asian elephant. But at one time, animals like this, who had tusks and trunks, lived on almost every continent and many islands. Although only these three elephant species remain, their abilities remain remarkable. Elephants’ trunks are strong enough to pull down a tree, yet nimble enough to pluck a single blade of grass. They communicate extensively with each other, maintaining complex emotional ties with other herd mem-

bers. They shape their environment, creating habitat for countless plants and animals. And over centuries of interactions with humans, they’ve been trained for war and work, and are powerful religious and political symbols across cultures. “Elephants are the world’s largest land animal, but we understand surprisingly little about them,” The Secret World of Elephants curator Ross MacPhee, curator emeritus in the museum’s department of mammalogy, said. “Researchers are working toward assembling a much more complete picture of elephants and we’re learning new secrets about their minds, bodies, and ecological importance every day. We also know elephants face an uncertain future. The global demand for ivory, along with climate change and habitat loss, are pushing them along the path to extinction. If we don’t act quickly, elephants could be gone before we ever truly get to know them.” What You Need to Know About Visiting the AMNH The American Museum of Natural History is located at 200 Central Park West, Manhattan. Hours: The museum is open daily, 10 am–5:30 pm; at presstime the exhibit has tickets available until June 30th, 2024. Tickets: Tickets that include admission to The Secret World of Elephants start at $28 for adults, $16.50 for children (ages 3-12) and $22.50 for seniors and students. Timed-entry tickets must be reserved in advance at amnh. org/tickets. For more information, visit

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