Mommy Poppins - Things to Do in NYC with Kids en When & How to Prepare Your Child to Travel Alone in the City--Hint: Start Now <p>With all the press about the <a href="">mom who got arrested for leaving her nine-year-old child unattended in a park</a>, and the resulting outrage, it&rsquo;s raised the question across the country: What&#39;s an appropriate amount of freedom for kids, and what is not? Growing up in NYC in the &#39;70s, my friends and I played outside and roamed around independently from an early age even though the city, in general, was not as safe as it is now. We learned street smarts and independence that, undoubtedly, spilled over into other areas of our lives.</p> <p>For many reasons, parenting seems different today. There&#39;s a lot more pressure to constantly supervise children, even older kids. It can be hard to imagine that our &quot;babies&quot; will ever be ready to go out into the wide world alone. But with the <a href="">start of a new school year</a>, the reality is that many children will begin traveling on their own or with a group of friends. With my kids&mdash;a teenager who is fully independent and a tween who is just learning to navigate the city on his own&mdash;I&#39;ve modified the &#39;70s-style figure-it-out-on-your-own approach to include today&#39;s more stringent safety consciousness to develop a training course my kids must complete before being allowed out on their own.</p> <p>Here&#39;s how I taught my own kids to be street smart city kids from an early age:</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kids Tweens & Teens Parenting Tips Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:00:00 +0000 Mommy Poppins 91763 at News: Luna Park Discount for Good Grades, Nature Opportunities for City Teens, Cool Water Tower Art, Autism-Friendly Theater <p>The big news for many NYC families this week is, of course, the <a href="">first day of school</a> for more than 1 million public school students. But as you ease back into your old routine, we&#39;ve got some fun news for you, like FREE rides at <a href="">Coney Island</a>&#39;s Luna Park, eye-popping art in unexpected places (you&#39;ll need to look up) and nature <a href="">volunteering opportunities</a> for teens. Plus, we&#39;ve got the scoop on a handful of notable openings and closing on the NYC family scene, and a few other tidbits.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kids Preschoolers Tweens & Teens News Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Alina Adams 91745 at Easy After-school Snacks: Healthier Protein-Boosted Rice Crispies Treats <p>School is upon us. That means the Internet is drowning in after-school snack and breakfast recipes guaranteed to make most of us mere mortals feel inadequate. But my idea of the the perfect after-school snack recipe is one that I can whip up in under ten minutes and makes more than one day&#39;s worth (cause, let&#39;s face it, I&#39;m not doing this every day, folks), not fruit skewers shaped like cute animals or pizzas on a stick. A wallop of protein is a plus to recharge their engines for after school activities. Oh yeah, and it&#39;s gotta be good on the go, since we always are.</p> <p>Abandoning the internet after becoming thoroughly discouraged by homemade owl crackers that probably teach your kids French, we headed to the kitchen and created this healthier rice crispies bar recipe. This protein boosted twist on the classic rice crispies treat are sure to be the perfect way to welcome a kid after a hard day at school. You could even serve them as a sweet breakfast bar on the go. And it&#39;s a great no-bake recipe that even little kids can help make.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kids Preschoolers Food, Restaurants & Recipes WeeWork Activities Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:34:56 +0000 Amelia E 91791 at 23 Fall Festivals, Fairs, Carnivals and Celebrations for NYC Kids September 2014 <p><a href="">School may be starting</a> but the outdoor fun isn&#39;t stopping anytime soon. Some of New York City&#39;s <a href="">best annual alfresco festivals</a> take place in <a href="">September</a> including FREE family favorites like the <a href="">West Side County Fair</a> in Riverside Park South, the <a href="">Medieval Festival</a> in <a href="">Fort Tryon Park</a> and Brooklyn&#39;s biggest street fair <a href="">Atlantic Antic</a>.</p> <p> There are also celebrations that aren&#39;t specifically aimed at families but have plenty of kid appeal, including Little Italy&#39;s <a href="">Feast of San Gennaro</a>, the multidisciplinary <a href="">Dumbo Arts Festival</a> and the mind-blowing <a href="">Maker Faire</a> at the New York Hall of Science, which we rave about every year.</p> <p> We&#39;ve got the scoop on all of these plus 17 other shindigs, 23 in total! So get out your calendar: You won&#39;t want to miss these fun and mostly FREE festivals and celebrations. Also, be sure to check out our <a href="">September NYC Go List</a> for the top 18 things to do with kids throughout the month.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kids Preschoolers Tweens & Teens NYC Uptown Downtown Brooklyn Brooklyn Heights East Village Queens Bronx Flushing Midtown West DUMBO Upper West Side Washington Heights Little Italy Lower East Side Fairs & Festivals Fall Activities Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Stephanie Ogozalek 26570 at Meet the Downtown Preschools at the Lower Manhattan Early Education Fair <p>It seems like it&#39;s never too early to start thinking about preschool in NYC, but for parents of toddlers, September means the start of the anxiety-provoking <a href="">preschool admissions process</a>. As one of the most popular neighborhoods for families in NYC right now, parents in <a href="">Lower Manhattan</a> have the added challenge of trying to keep track of all the new programs starting up to meet the increased demand. The influx of families has meant a crop of new <a href="">preschools and early education programs</a> for kids below Houston Street.</p> <p>To help local families navigate the changing landscape, we&rsquo;re delighted to team up with the terrific parenting group <a href=""target="new">HRP Mamas</a> to sponsor the first annual <a href="">Lower Manhattan Early Education Fair</a>, a completely FREE event where moms and dads can get the inside scoop on the best preschool programs downtown.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Baby Preschoolers Classes & Enrichment Free Activities Preschool Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Mommy Poppins 91715 at Apple Picking Near NYC: Pick-Your-Own-Apple Farms An Hour or Less From New York City <p>What&#39;s the sweet upside of <a href="">summer</a> coming to a close? The fact that <a href="">apple picking season</a> is about to begin. Starting around Labor Day weekend and continuing through late October, orchards throughout the tri-state area offer families the chance to pick their own apples. Some also host cool kids&#39; attractions, like hayrides, petting zoos, bouncy houses and mazes, and sell home-baked treats such as doughnuts, homemade pies and freshly pressed cider.</p> <p> Although there was a time when apple trees thrived in NYC (ever wonder how Orchard Street got its name?), today city families need to head out of town to pick their own fruit. While there are lots of wonderful apple orchards in <a href="" target="_blank">upstate New York</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">New Jersey</a>, <a href="" target="new">Connecticut</a> and on <a href="" target="_blank">Long Island</a>, many of them are quite a long drive from the city. And we know nothing derails a fun family outing like a long commute.</p> <p> That&#39;s why we&#39;ve rounded up 12 places to pick your own apples that are an hour (or less!) from midtown Manhattan by car. We&#39;ve even found a few that are accessible by train. Before you go, make sure you call ahead to confirm hours, attractions and availability since those change constantly throughout the season.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kids Preschoolers Tweens & Teens Suffolk Hudson Valley Long Island New Jersey Westchester Fall Activities Nature Outdoor Activities 40.897332 -73.276470 40.897332 -73.276470 41.348630 -73.635516 41.348630 -73.635516 41.279454 -73.827972 41.279454 -73.827972 41.178606 -74.032046 41.178606 -74.032046 41.171283 -73.952056 41.171283 -73.952056 40.778960 -74.716904 40.778960 -74.716904 40.850098 -74.614007 40.850098 -74.614007 40.631444 -74.585731 40.631444 -74.585731 41.307407 -73.765597 41.307407 -73.765597 41.008236 -74.070664 41.008236 -74.070664 40.795199 -74.693871 40.795199 -74.693871 41.349784 -73.635054 Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:00:00 +0000 Stephanie Ogozalek 26615 at This Week: Labor Day Weekend, 5 Great Plays, & Summer's Last Hurrah <p>Another <a href="">Labor Day</a>, another chance to honor hard work by taking a few days off&mdash;like our NYC editor, <a href="">Raven</a>, who is away in <a href="" target="new">Martha&#39;s Vineyard</a> celebrating the end of <a href="">summer</a>. Even without her here, Mommy Poppins can lead the charge away from labor this <a href="">holiday weekend</a>, and toward all that is <a href="">fun</a>, <a href="">festive</a> and/or <a href="">FREE</a> this week, in easy reach of the city. Feel free to bury your heads in the sand for one more weekend before facing the <a href="">back-to-school</a> music.</p> <p> Care to escape the city for, say, Elizabethan England? It&#39;s never too late (or at least not until late September); the <a href="">New York Renaissance Faire</a> is still going strong in Tuxedo Park, including the holiday Monday. Or spend a few corny hours in Sleepy Hollow for <a href="">Philipsburg Manor&#39;s CORNucopia</a> celebration in Westchester.</p> <p> If you&#39;re headed for the Hamptons this weekend, there&#39;s a <a href="">Pow Wow</a> worth stopping in on, and our New Jersey team has several suggestions for <a href="">day trips in the Garden State</a> (or you plan-ahead types can take a look at upcoming <a href="" target="_blank">September festivals in NJ</a>). Connecticut has <a href="">fairs and festivals</a> popping up all over this holiday weekend, including a life-affirming <a href="" target="_blank">Labor Day parade</a> in Newtown.</p> <p> And wherever you spend this holiday weekend, make sure you take a minute to enter our <a href="" target="new"><em>Cinderella</em> ticket giveaway</a>. One lucky family will win <a href="" target="new">four tickets to see the musical on Broadway</a>!</p> <p> Here&#39;s what else we covered on the NYC site this week:</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Things to Do Thu, 28 Aug 2014 20:28:16 +0000 Roberta B 91577 at Best 5 Off-Broadway Shows for NYC Kids <p>As someone who&#39;s been taking her nine-year-old daughter to theater since before she could string together a coherent sentence, a lot of parents ask me which family shows are worth their time and money. It&#39;s a tough question: People&#39;s tastes vary widely and I find that kids outgrow some shows as quickly as they do shoes. Plus, NYC&#39;s theater scene is constantly changing (in fact, two of the productions I originally highlighted in this post just a year ago have already closed, that&#39;s why it&#39;s time for an update).</p> <p> One big piece of theater advice that I give all families: Look beyond Broadway. There are lots of long-running Off-Broadway shows that are less expensive and more offbeat than what you usually find on the Great White Way. They&#39;re not low-rent either. A night out at one of these top Off-Broadway productions can feel just as special for a child as going to see <em>Aladdin</em>, and you won&#39;t need to mortgage your house or wait months to snag seats.</p> <p> I&#39;ve picked my top five Off-Broadway shows to see with kids, organized them by age and interest, and even shared ways you can get deeply discounted tickets. All of them make great <a href="">birthday party</a> activities, too. From a surefire toddler hit to an interactive nightclub experience for tweens to those world-famous blue dudes, here are the best Off-Broadway theater productions for NYC kids.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kids Preschoolers Tweens & Teens NYC Uptown Downtown East Village Midtown West Cultural Events 40.729373 -73.992104 40.735207 -73.989342 40.762942 -73.987702 40.728188 -73.987498 Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:00:00 +0000 Raven Snook 63058 at