Mommy Poppins - Things to Do in NYC with Kids en Family Daycation at the Staten Island Zoo: A Brand-new Carousel, a Petting Zoo & Great Educational Programs for Kids <p>As a <a href="">Staten Island mom</a> with a toddler and a tween, I&#39;ve been to the Staten Island Zoo many, many, many times. I don&#39;t really need an excuse to visit this intimate, eight-acre animal oasis filled more than 350 different species, including lots of reptiles, two rare Amur leopards and the weather-prognosticating/mayor-biting groundhog Staten Island Chuck. But now my family has a great new reason to go: The zoo&#39;s recently opened Conservation Carousel featuring two-dozen handcrafted wooden creature to ride.</p> <p> Since the Staten Island Zoo is an independent institution (it&#39;s not affiliated with New York City&#39;s five other Wildlife Conservation Society zoos) and located in the so-called &quot;forgotten borough,&quot; , it&#39;s often overlooked by families who don&#39;t live on the isle. But since it&#39;s near public transportation (there&#39;s also a free parking lot) and has lots of special attractions for kids, including a petting zoo and the new carousel, it&#39;s a great daycation destination&mdash;then you can stick around and check out some of the other <a href="">cool things to do with kids on Staten Island</a>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kids Preschoolers NYC North Shore Staten Island Classes & Enrichment Outdoor Adventures Photo Gallery Visiting NYC Zoos and Aquariums 40.625827 -74.114756 Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:00:00 +0000 Nataki Hewling 88589 at Go Fish: Where to Go Fishing with NYC Kids for Free (Even If You Don't Have Gear) <p>Fishing is a classic <a href="">summertime</a> activity but it can only be done <a href=""targte="new">outside of NYC</a>, right? Wrong. My husband and I have been fishing with our nine-year-old son in the five boroughs since he was a preschooler. It&#39;s relaxing and a great way to bond, plus it teaches patience (you definitely need it for this sport).</p> <p> Not only does NYC offer different kinds of fishing experiences (freshwater, salt water, catch-and-release), there are organizations that even supply the rod, reel, tackle and bait so all you need to bring is a good attitude. Children under age 16 don&rsquo;t need a license to fish in New York State, however grown-ups do, so <a href="" target="new">make sure you get one</a> if you&#39;re looking to drop a line, too. If you have your own equipment, NYC&#39;s shorelines offer great saltwater angling while our inland bodies of water are perfect for freshwater catch-and-release fishing. Our rivers, lakes, ponds and beaches are truly teeming with fish, and we&#39;ve got the scoop on where you and your kids can catch them.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kids Preschoolers Tweens & Teens Battery Park City Central Park NYC Uptown Downtown Brooklyn Queens Bronx Staten Island Sports Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Stephanie Ogozalek 17143 at 6 Unexpected Ways to Play as a Family--Even While Doing Chores <p>If you were raising your kids in, say, Utah&mdash;or any other place that doesn&#39;t have a <a href="" target="_blank">Mommy Poppins daily calendar</a> to point you in fun directions&mdash;you&#39;d have to work a lot harder to keep your summer days playful. Our <a href="" target="new">SUMMER OF PLAY</a> partner, <a href=""target="new">KaBOOM!</a>, works with community leaders around the country to create more spaces and ways for kids to enjoy balanced and active play. Mother of three and registered nurse, Cyndalynn Tilley, is one of these community leaders in Woods Cross, Utah, and she&#39;s shared some of her favorite ideas for finding opportunities to play while doing ordinary daily activities. <a href="" target="_blank">Backyard games</a> are great when you have the time and space, but what about when you have to bring kids along to do chores like shopping and laundry? Even then grown-ups can help kids get the play they need to thrive.</p> <p> What are your secrets for finding play in mundane situations? Share pics of your inventive playtime ideas on <a href="" target="new">social media</a> for a chance to win great prizes in our <a href="" target="new">SUMMER OF PLAY CHALLENGE</a>. Then for even more inspiration, check out our <a href="" target="new">SUMMER OF PLAY photo gallery on Facebook</a> to see what others are posting.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kids Preschoolers Tweens & Teens Parenting Tips Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:30:00 +0000 Roberta B 89304 at Best Things to Do with NYC Kids: August Go List <p>August is traditionally the month when native New Yorkers <a href="" target="new">skip town</a>. But if you&#39;re planning a NYC staycation like we are, you&#39;re in luck! There&#39;s plenty of must-experience <a href="">summer fun</a> throughout the month, and we&#39;ve got the scoop on the absolute best things to do with kids in our August NYC Go List.</p> <p> This month brings many of our big annual favorites like Manhattan&#39;s car-free but activity-filled <a href="">Summer Streets</a>, the incredible <a href="">Sand Sculpting Contest</a> in <a href="">Coney Island</a>, Historic Richmond Town&#39;s old-fashioned <a href="">County Fair</a> on <a href="">Staten Island</a> and the colorful <a href="">Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival</a> in Queens&#39; <a href="">Flushing Meadows Corona Park</a>. Plus there are some new shows and offbeat experiences on tap, like <a href=";x=0&amp;y=0">FringeJr</a> and a <a href="">wind-up circus toy show</a>.</p> <p> As always, if an event piques your interest, be sure to click through to our listing for all the details, including address and time. And keep in mind: In NYC, really cool things to do with kids often get booked up quickly. So buy your tickets ASAP or, in the case of FREE events, arrive as early as possible to try to beat the crowds.</p> <p> Now get your calendars ready! Here are the top 12 things to do with kids in New York City this August, seven of which are FREE.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kids Preschoolers Tweens & Teens Things to Do Sun, 27 Jul 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Stephanie Ogozalek 64564 at Awesome New Brooklyn Ice Cream Parlor: Ample Hills Creamery in Gowanus <p>It seems like there&#39;s a <a href="">new ice cream parlor opening up in New York City</a> every week. But the new Ample Hills Creamery in Gowanus is not your average scoops spot. Owned and operated by a local Brooklyn family (who recently contributed this <a href="">delicious and easy bananamon ice cream recipe</a> to our <a href="">WeeWork series</a>), this is actually their second location. We raved about the <a href="">cozy original in Prospect Heights</a> when it opened in 2011 and it&#39;s still great&mdash;just constantly overrun with families and foodies.</p> <p> The new Ample Hills Creamery in Gowanus is much bigger. In fact, it&#39;s a two-story, 3,600-square-foot ice cream wonderland complete with a roof deck, a private party room, and a wide variety of classic and offbeat seasonal flavors, all homemade from scratch right there on-site&mdash;you can even watch them making batches in the kitchen!</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kids Preschoolers Tweens & Teens NYC Brooklyn Park Slope Food, Restaurants & Recipes Photo Gallery 40.678921 -73.987361 Sun, 27 Jul 2014 16:00:00 +0000 Natalie Altieri 89144 at This Week: Awesome Day Trip Ideas, Family Resort in Costa Rica, New Queens Play Space, NYC Weekend Fun <p>Every year around this time, I start to feel like my daughter and I are the last New Yorkers left in the city. All of our friends are away at <a href="">sleepaway camp</a> or off on <a href="" target="new">exotic vacations</a>, like Mommy Poppins founder, <a href="">Anna</a>, who stayed at the fabulous <a href="" target="new">Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort in Costa Rica</a> this week. Not that I&#39;m complaining. While I can&#39;t say we have NYC to ourselves (I think I&#39;ve given directions to <a href="" target="new">tourists</a> every single day this week), we are still enjoying all <a href="">summer in the city</a> has to offer, including museum exhibits (the pic above is from the <a href="">Jeff Koons retrospective</a> at the Whitney), public <a href="">pools</a>, <a href="">beaches</a> and <a href="">playgrounds</a>. And since my daughter just got a pair of hand-me-down roller skates, the <a href="">two new rinks in Brooklyn</a> are on our must-do list.</p> <p> Of course you don&#39;t have to get on a plane to have an out-of-town adventure. Our Long Island site highlighted <a href="" target="new">six farms where kids can feed and pet the animals</a>, and <a href="" target="new">eight family-friendly hiking trails</a>. Meanwhile, <a href="" target="new">New Jersey</a> rounded up <a href="" target="new">seven pick-your-own farms with summer berries</a>, and spotlighted the small but activity--filled ocean-side town of <a href="" target="new">Avalon</a>. And Connecticut made a list of the <a href="" target="new">top 25 things to do with kids in New Haven</a>.</p> <p> Regardless of where you&#39;re spending the season, remember to <a href="" target="_blank">post your playful pics on social media</a> for a chance to win great prizes in our <a href="">SUMMER OF PLAY CHALLENGE</a>. It ends in a few weeks so start snapping today&mdash;you know you want to show off that gorgeous family of yours.</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, 24 Jul 2014 19:00:00 +0000 Raven Snook 88979 at WeeWork Kids Craft: Fish Printing <p>If you are taking a vacation that involves fishing this summer, fish printing is a great way to preserve a couple of fun family vacation memories. Fish Printing, or <i>Gyotaku</i>, is a traditional Japanese art dating from the mid-1800s. Think of it like a pre-Instagram way of recording the size of your catch. In these days of digital media; however, it has evolved into a bit more of an art form. We had the good fortune to learn a bit more about it on vacation in Cape Cod. I wasn't sure how my 2.5 year old daughter would react to painting a fish, but she loved it. Luckily, if she hadn't we had a fake fish on hand to work with too. You can also use this method to create one-of-a-kind t-shirts, a great DIY vacation souvenirs ( I mean, who needs <i>another</i> tie-dye shirt!)</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Kids Preschoolers Crafts WeeWork Activities Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:34:03 +0000 Ally Noel 89159 at Weekend Fun for NYC Kids: Lincoln Center Out of Doors Family Day, The Lightning Thief Musical, Harry Potter Party July 26-27 <p>It&#39;s looking like a lovely mid-<a href="">summer</a> weekend and there are lots of fun and FREE things to do together as a family. Try classic outdoor games at <a href="">Brooklyn Bridge Park</a>&#39;s <a href="">Family Field Day</a>, work up a sweat at the <a href="">Get Up &amp; Go Family Adventure Race</a> on Staten Island or hit the Scholastic Store in Soho for a magical <a href="">Harry Potter birthday party</a>.</p> <p> Two of our <a href="">top picks of the month</a> take place this weekend and they&#39;re both FREE. Enjoy an eclectic lineup of music and dance performances at <a href="">Lincoln Center Out of Doors Family Day</a> and catch Theatreworks USA&#39;s brand-new musicalization of <a href=""><em>The Lightning Thief</em></a> in the West Village.</p> <p> However you spend the weekend, remember to share photos of your family&#39;s adventures on social media for a chance to win great prizes in our <a href="">SUMMER OF PLAY CHALLENGE</a>. If you need playtime inspiration, we have <a href="">hundreds of ideas</a> in our <a href="">SUMMER OF PLAY GUIDE</a>.</p> <p> All of our best bets for the weekend are below. You can find additional options in our <a href="">Event Calendar</a> and our <a href="">Summer Fun Guide</a>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Things to Do Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:00:00 +0000 Stephanie Ogozalek 88925 at