5 Ways to Decide Which NYC Pre-K Is Right for Your Child

New York City's universal pre-kindergarten plan is a boon for parents in many ways, offering FREE education a bit earlier to all of the city's 4-year-olds. But it can also make picking a school that much trickier. 

NYC parents must apply for spots at their preferred schools, often going on multiple tours, sitting on wait-lists, and then wading through multiple decision rounds to accept or reject offers. (We hear middle school selection is even more fun, by the way.) Last year wait-lists and assignments were fluid through August, so parents might even still have time to consider the right fit for their 4-year-olds for this fall, or get a jump start on next year. After all, those applying for private preschool for 2017 need to start the touring process in September, so there is no better time than summer to narrow down what you’re looking for.

We wanted to help parents stay sane through this process, and possibly even make your decision a bit clearer. Read on for five key considerations in determining which pre-K is right for you and your child.

Still sorting through options? Check out our NYC Preschool Guide and Listings for pre-K and nursery options.

The Swings: A New Interactive Musical Installation

Swings tend to be a big hit with all ages. But giant swings that play music while you sway back and forth? And deliver up water views? Oh, yeah.

Now that my oldest child is 10, the list of activities he enjoys with his little sister is dwindling. When The Swings, a free, interactive musical swing set, was installed right next to one of our favorite playgrounds in lower Manhattan, they were both pumped to visit.

Open daily through July 7 this year, The Swings: An Exercise in Musical Collaboration features 10 swings that trigger sounds as riders swing back and forth. Each swing represents one of four instruments—piano, harp, guitar or vibraphone—and when multiple swings are in motion they produce rich melodies. Created by Montreal-based interactive design studio Daily tous les jours, The Swings encourages people of all ages to interact and collaborate, fostering a sense of community and whole lot of fun.

Father's Day Weekend for LA Kids: Pasadena Chalk, Bowl Opening, Rodeo Drive

Settle down, padre; we get it. It’s Father's Day. This weekend it’s all about you: Dad’s choice from sunup to sundown, make way for baseball (with and without the home teams), BBQ and buffetsMarx Brothers and Mario Brothers. Or, if you prefer, Irish dancing and movies about forgetful fish. As long as you’re happy, we’re happy. Yep, whatever it takes, no expense spared...

Psst: Moms and kids! Did you know there's a ton of cool stuff going on this weekend that you can take Dad to for free? Luxury cars on Rodeo Driveno-cost concertsclassic westerns by moonlightfestivals and celebrations. You can even make him a variety of from-the-heart gifts. All without dipping into the trust fund. There are also things you can do that cost money, if you're into that. (And we have a feeling some of it Dad will be very into!)

Speaking of being into things, no doubt you have some local faves you can't get enough of. Favorite kids museum, favorite playspace, favorite social media mom (or dad!). If you haven't already, make your picks in our Best of LA contest. Your favorites could end up winning... and so could you!

Keep reading for our votes for the best of this weekend...

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Father's Day Weekend, June 18-19

We moms had our day last month, but this weekend offers dads plenty of events to celebrate them, send them off to do something they love, or simply offer them a break (that last option is essential for stay-at-home dads). Dads can enjoy free admission at the zoo or a museum, go for a wild ride with the kids, or get out the tools at what sounds like an incredible fixer fair. If more of a break is in order, moms can give dads a few hours of quiet by whisking the kids away to catch an extraordinary girl or a royal frog onstage, or the whole family can head out to enjoy a Juneteenth celebration or a heaping plate of strawberry shortcake. Or, if you want to go big this year, give dad an experience that's worth the splurge

Also on Mommy Poppins Boston this week:

Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to check out the full Event Calendar!

Father's Day Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Trains, Boats and Baseball June 18-19

What would we do without dear ol' dad? He helps with homework, mows the lawn, volunteers as Little League coach, the list goes on and on... If you're looking for ways to celebrate all the dads, step-dads, grandfathers, godfathers, and uncles out there, our Event Calendar provides an assortment of fun ideas for this Father's Day weekend.

Take dad on a helicopter, boat, or train ride. Check out an antique fire truck show or participate in a scavenger hunt created especially for fathers. Go fishing at Linvilla Orchards or Peace Valley Park, usher in the official arrival of summer with dad at the Please Touch Museum's Summer Block Party or Winterthur's Enchanted Summer Day, or catch a baseball game.

Read on for our top picks for the weekend. Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day Weekend for Westchester Kids: Festivals, Amazing Max, June 18-19

It’s time for Dad’s special day, and a special celebration is in order. View our roundups of Father's Day fun in Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley for ideas for ways to honor Dad, Grandpa and the other special father figures in your life.

Three different towns happen to be celebrating community pride with day-long festivals that offer the likes of performances, trolley tours, food and more. Of these, the Newburgh Illuminated Festival is on the grandest scale, with hoop dancing, yoga, a children’s area, more than 40 bands over 10 hours and lots more.

Another common theme this weekend is international culture. Ethnic festivals include the colorful Yonkers Ukrainian Heritage Festival, and a performance of music from around the globe is in store at the FREE Music Under the Stars.

Back by popular demand is The Amazing Max, whose talents have caught the attention of The Huffington Post and PBS Kids. For 18th-century fun, try New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site Children’s Day.

Read on for all of our top picks and sign up for our FREE weekly newsletters if you don't already receive them. Don't forget: Our Event Calendar has even more options to choose from, and check out our top picks for the remainder of June.

Happy Father’s Day!

Father's Day Weekend Fun for LI Kids: Daddy & Me Brunch, Painting, June 18-19

This Father's Day weekend make dad the center of attention. Whether it's a Daddy & Me Painting session, Daddy & Me Brunch, Building a Boat with Dad or celebrating Father's Day in Flight with an aviation craft, there's plenty to do, see, eat and create.

Remember, you can find even more options in our jam-packed Event Calendar and our Summer Fun Guide, plus great ways to celebrate dad in our Father's Day roundup. To receive our posts in your inbox, subscribe to our free newsletters.

Pages

Subscribe to