NYC Parenting Blogger Round-up, Part 2

A bunch of NYC parenting bloggers got together the other night. It was fun to meet the real people behind the funny. MetroDad organized it (he is almost too nice. I don't know where that acerbic wit comes from) and I was honored to get to hang out with him and the other great bloggers present. Mom-101 has a terrific blog and I really admire her style. I also became acquainted with some other really funny NYC parenting blogs, Mr Nice Guy, CroutonBoy and Laid-Off Dad. Make sure to empty your bladder before reading any of these blogs, especially if you're a woman who's had at least one vaginal birth, if you know what I mean.

Here are some other NYC parenting blogs I've discovered since the last time I posted a list:

More Free Outdoor Movies for Kids and Families

BloggyMcBlogBlog has a theory that soon there will be so much scaffolding in Lower Manhattan that they will have to build scaffolding on top of the scaffolding and then there will be a war between the people who live below the scaffolding and those that live above it...

Likewise, I'm beginning to think that soon there will be so many outdoor movie festivals in NYC that people will no longer need televisions, we'll just watch giant projected entertainment from the comfort of our living rooms because every available surface in the city will have programming projected on it.

Not that I'm complaining. I love outdoor movies. And this new one that I discovered thanks to A Brooklyn Life is particularly good, especially for NYC families with kids.

The Red Hook Movies in the Parks series is playing a great batch of films every Thursday through August 16th and they're all kid-friendly, good movies, including Happy feet, Mad Hot Ballroom and Akeelah and the Bee.

The outdoor films are closing in...


For Downtown Art Camp Uptown Museums are the Big Draw

The much-beloved art teacher of Tribeca elementary, PS 150, is doing a special mini-art camp open to all downtown children aged 6-10. Andrea takes intimate groups of just six kids to visit NYC museums - MoMA, Guggenheim, Whitney, Metropolitan Museum - to view art, sketch and then picnic in Central Park.

Dates still available are: Mon.July 16, Tuesday,July 17, Wed,July 18; Tues July 24, Wed July 25, Thur July 26;Tuesday July 31; Wed Aug 1 and Thur Aug. 2. Kids can go to Andrea's Art Camp for one, two, or three days a week for just $50 a day.

Is it a pool or a beach? Either way, it's cool.

Have you heard about the brand new floating pool in Brooklyn Heights? They've docked a barge that's been retrofit with a 25 meter, 7 lane swimming pool right on the water in Brooklyn. There also a sandy beach area with pick-up volleyball and soccer games, a snack shack and umbrella rentals, which is good because when you arrive you are given a one-hour swimming slot (first come first served). After you get your time slot you can just hang on the beach until your time comes up. A little beach, a little pool.

I didn't include the new floating pool in my previous post about free pools because it hadn't opened yet and I wanted to find out more about it before I recommended it. I still haven't been to the floating pool since it opened yesterday, but at least now I can share with you some of the opinions that are circulating around.

Curbed has links to three reviews on mcbrooklyn, Brooklyn Heights Blog, and The New York Times. The overall takeaway? People are loving it and say it's the cleanest pool in NYC...and the water's really cold.

MUG Readers, Welcome!

Mommy Poppins was listed on awesome NYC site, Manhattan Users Guide.

If you are new to Mommy Poppins, here's how to make the most of the site:

Recently we've been doing weekly topics on summer fun activities with kids. We've done a week of free activities ( Best Free (and cheap) NYC Swimming Pools for Toddlers and Kids, Free Movies for Kids, Free Summer Sports Activities, etc), then Free Museum Programs in All 5 Boroughs, and last week was Outdoor Summer Festivals and Concerts.

You'll also find Excursions, Shopping and other random helpful information and silly stuff. There's preschool and elementary school reviews and information if you click on the Education category link in the side bar.

Fire hydrant sprinklers and other street games are back in all 5 boroughs

Kids used to rule the streets of New York, filling the sidewalks with their games of jump rope and skully and the streets with stickball and kick the can. In contrast, these days it seems like letting your kids play outside is practically a crime. But, there seems to be a movement afoot to return to the kinds of activities that drew kids into the streets for active outdoor fun.

Nostalgic, old-fashioned kid games are becoming fashionable again. We recently wrote about The Dangerous Book for Boys and mentioned one organization that is working to put the play back in childhood. Then, yesterday the New York Times wrote an article about how street games are making a comeback.

A website, is run by a group dedicated to getting people back to playing street games like stoop and hopscotch. They will even come to schools or events to teach people the old games. (I might suggest this for our school next year since I know it's one thing parents are particularly concerned about.) They also have a wiki of street game rules.

You just can't think back to those days when the streets were our playgrounds without conjuring up the images of fire hydrants spewing forth water, creating the urban version of a water park. Nowadays that kind of behavior is seriously frowned upon, but just as groups are working to bring back street play of the dry kind, it's still possible to enjoy some good fire hydrant water fun legally.

How to Get Wet and Stay Cool This Summer in NYC

New York City summers are not a pretty thing for the most part. Hot, humid, sticky and stinky. For many people the only way to survive them is to leave. For the rest of us, the best we can do is figure out how to stay cool and entertained. That's why we're posting all about summertime water fun for NYC kids every day this week.

We've already done an article on the best free and cheap swimming pools for kids in NYC. This week we'll be doing the best water parks and playgrounds, beaches, water sports, boats and more.

Top Posts 6-07

At the end of the month I always like to take a moment to take tabs on the site. I post up the most popular and best posts from this month and look for a little feedback from readers.

We had a good month on the site in June. Readership has been growing rapidly and I think it's mostly been due to lots of people finding the site through searches for summer activities and free activities for kids.

How To Teach Kids Manners with Cartoons

When we were looking for eCards for Father's Day, we discovered hoops and yoyo on Hoops and yoyo are an animated cat and bunny that sound like the kids from South Park and sport an edgy sense of humor. They have a bunch of funny eCards for different occasions, but now my kids just want to go back and watch the animations. Poking around their site we found these Manners Matter with hoops and yoyo animations.

Outdoor Summer Festivals in Every Borough are Fun for the Whole Family

The great thing about New York City's outdoor festivals is that everyone can enjoy them. If it's kids music, at least the grown ups can enjoy being outdoors on a lovely day or evening, relaxing. And, generally kids will put up with an outdoor concert or performance if they can run around, dance, play and picnic while you enjoy a little grown up entertainment for once.

The following free outdoor festivals are not specifically children's festivals, but they, for the most part, each have at least one kids performance and otherwise offer great performances in great outdoor environments around NYC, making a fun day or evening out with the kids either way.

Celebrate Brooklyn is considered by many to be NYC's best summer festival. Located at the Prospect Park bandshell, Celebrate Brooklyn is a great venue with a diverse range of excellent performances. You'll find music, dance, films and more. We already wrote about the child friendly outdoor movies that are part of Celebrate Brooklyn. Another great kid event at Celebrate Brooklyn will be the Dan Zanes concert on July 22; sure to be packed with toddlers, children and adults alike rocking out to the king of kid rock.

Lower Manhattan's River to River Festival has hundreds of events including dozens of children's and family events. As part of the River to River Festival you'll find children's workshops, story times, fairs, singing and dancing and more. Check out the calendar for the full list of children's events.

Everyone is familiar with Central Park's Summer Stage. Many of the Summer Stage events will be enjoyed by children, but for sure kids will love the Summer Stage Global Family Day on July 15th. Led up by Hip Hop Harry, a Kangol cap bearing big yellow bear described as Barney "if he had lived in the South Bronx in the '80s." Hmmm. Well, there will also be a marionette show of Cinderella Samba, a performance by hip kid rockers, The Sippy Cups, a performance outlining the history of break dancing, and finally, some good 'ol Brooklyn barbecue from The Smoke Joint.

The NY Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks Festival travels to all five boroughs plus Long Island and New Jersey, making classical music from the oldest philharmonic in the United States available to all for free. While there are no children performances, classical music under the stars, followed by fireworks is sure to be enjoyed by the entire family. Or it's a least a good way to sneak a little classical music into your children's repertoire.

The last festival we were planning on featuring was the NYC Fringe Festival which has a series of FringeJR events designed for families. Unfortunately, they have not published their calendar yet and haven't yet replied to our inquiries. We'll keep you posted or you can check the Fringe NYC site.


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