Founding Editor & Publisher
I was born in Park Slope, spent my early years in the West Village and by the time I graduated high school, had lived in 4 of the 5 boroughs. Growing up in NYC in the '70s meant the streets were my playgrounds, museums and avant garde music venues were the kid-friendly activities and living downtown taught me the importance of creating community for families in NYC.
Now, raising my own two children in Lower Manhattan, I try to create the same sense of magic and community that I grew up with, despite today's more commercialized version of kid-friendly New York.
I started writing Mommy Poppins in 2007 to share my vision for a more artsy, educational, non-commercialized and community-oriented way to raise kids in New York City. Today, Mommy Poppins is relied on by more than 500,000 parents each month to curate the best things to do with kids in New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut, Westchester, Boston and Los Angeles, plus a Family Travel site. I'm happy that we are successfully helping families do more than just find a way to spend an afternoon with kids by sharing activities that are enriching and create amazing family memories.
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Latest posts by Anna
Do automatic-flush toilets scare your preschooler? Do you always forget to put a spare onesie in the diaper bag? Do you go crazy trying to get the crumbs out of your car’s cup holders? These are the types of real problems parents face every day. Who would know the solutions better than other parents? The just released book Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life with Kids written by Asha Dornfest, founder of the Parent Hacks website, and her community of parent hackers has the answer to these issues and, well, 131 more.
Parent Hacks is a decade of the cumulative knowledge of sleep-deprived parents. What I love about it is its down-to-earth take on everyday frustrations and issues. Because the advice comes from real parents, many of the solutions rely on clever tricks using everyday things you find around the house, rather than pricey products. It's frugal, real advice—and often hilarious, including the fun illustrations by Craighton Berman. There are a lot of hacks dealing with poop and other gross situations parents find themselves in, making it a great choice for those with babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
We love this book so much that Mommy Poppins is helping to throw it a party. Read on to find out more about probably the most useful new parenting book around and how you can join us for a fun celebration if you are in NYC.
There's something wonderfully nostalgic about kids getting a thrill from a ride on a carousel. There are more than a dozen merry-go-rounds in our city and all offer a unique spin on this traditional kiddie ride. With spring in full swing, it's a great time to take your first carousel ride of the season. There are merry-go-rounds in all five boroughs, which means there's probably one near you.
There are few more delightful ways to celebrate the arrival of spring than by viewing the beautiful cherry blossoms flowering all over New York City. Everyone seems to know about the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, but there are other places to enjoy gorgeous cherry blossoms without the crowds.
In Japan, cherry blossom viewing is taken to almost religious heights. Blooming flowers are carefully watched, enjoyed and celebrated, and traditional Sakura Hanami parties feature eating, drinking and music.
Here are the best places to see cherry blossoms in New York City this spring.
All-inclusive resorts are popular with family travelers because they make life so easy. But, all those options can also take a big environmental toll. An all-inclusive resort may create tons of food waste on a daily basis, not to mention loads of electricity for air conditioning and water for washing pool and bath towels. Nobody wants to feel guilty while trying to enjoy a relaxing getaway so a resort that meets the needs of families and the environment too seems like a real dream vacation.
Velas Vallarta, a family friendly all-inclusive resort with 10 acres of oceanfront in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, has an impressive green initiative that goes beyond the typical superficial hat-tip to eco-friendliness. Plus, the all-suite resort, with kitchens in every room and a free bottomless mini-bar, offers an affordably luxurious all-inclusive experience.
It can be hard to find things to do with tweens in New York City. They're too old for little kid activities, but not really into the culture that older teens tend to favor. Our tween only begrudgingly participates in most family outings, so I decided to design a day totally focused on his interests, which, not surprisingly, are pretty much limited to video games, computers and comic books. What was surprising was how much fun we had.
Within a few blocks of the Astor Place 6 train stop, in a section of the East Village dubbed Japantown, are a number of over-the-top fun spots for kids. Packed with funky Japanese-themed collectible stores and awesome eateries, plus some old-school video game and comic spots, we found tween utopia all within a few blocks. We rounded the day out with Japanese snacks for an itinerary that had our usually picky kids over the moon and was just as much fun for the grown-ups.
While suburban kids can always run around in their backyards, city kids often don't have that luxury. A park or playground is a worthy substitute, but sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate or just getting out of the apartment is too much to navigate with the kids. But if a family still wants to integrate movement and exercise into their everyday lives, there are plenty of quick—and fun— exercises that can be done right in your living room. Try our list of 25 easy indoor exercise ideas to do with kids at home. We promise everyone will be tired and laughing after attempting just a handful.
Looking for more indoor boredom busters? We have lots of ideas, including easy craft projects and 40 Snow Day Boredom Busters.
Even if your family's swimming in money (and if you are, congrats), we all appreciate a good bargain. Summer camp is an especially stressful financial issue, because while we want our children to have a fun, rewarding and safe experience, we don't want to dig into our retirement fund to pay for it. One thing we've learned is cost and quality don't always correlate. Some wonderful New York City programs are subsidized by arts and education funding, so that all children can experience the amazing resources of this city.
Although there seem to be fewer FREE New York City summer camps than in years past, our list of inexpensive or cheaper camps for local kids keeps growing. Read on for all the info on our picks for FREE and bargain summer camps for NYC kids. You can find even more summer options in our jam-packed Summer Camp Guide and search for programs by interest, age range and location in our Camp Directory.
If you’ve visited Mommy Poppins in the last month, you’ve probably noticed that we have a brand-new website. We hope you like it! Our new site is designed to offer a better mobile experience, as well as a less cluttered design and easier navigation. Since the launch, we’ve been getting great feedback from readers and have been fixing some initial bugs and making more improvements. We wanted to take a moment to show you around the site and highlight some of the new features.