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Free Passes to Botanic Garden Lunar New Year Celebration

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Today begins the two week Lunar New Year celebration in New York City with fun family events through out the city. This weekend is the Flower Market in Chinatown and although they publicize that there are children's activities, I have gone the last few years and been disappointed. Save going to Chinatown for the parade and cultural festival next weekend.

This year I'm excited about the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Lunar New Year Celebration and Flower Market. In addition to a beautiful Flower Market selling traditional Asian plants and cut flowers (where better to buy plants and flowers than from the experts at the Botanic Garden), there will be many interesting workshops, activities, food and performances for both kids and parents.

Kids will be able to create paper versions of New Year flowers, make citrus sachets using material from culturally significant plants, and pot up a lucky bamboo stalk to take home, while learning about its historical meaning in parts of Asia. Adults can even have a turn learning the ancient Chinese art of brush painting in a hands-on workshop.

The Year of the Rat will be welcomed with a full lineup of exciting entertainers, including spectacular music and dance performances for the whole family by some of the most renowned Asian performance groups in the world. I think kids will enjoy the Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera. - opera with martial arts, acrobatics, and music! The Red Silk Dancers use silk fans, fiery ribbons, and shiny metal clashes in “Silk and Sword�. And kids will be awed by the Korean Traditional Music and Dance Institute of New York's dance and powerful drumming.

An extraordinary exhibition on loan from the Beijing Museum of Fine Arts, featuring contemporary paintings, papercuts, and textile art made by peasant women living in China, will be on display in the Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery for families to enjoy.

When the kids get munchy visit the Terrace CafГѓВ© which will feature a special menu of culinary delights from China, Korea, and Vietnam, including Korean kimchi, a special soup, and celebratory sweets!

The whole thing takes place indoors on Sunday, February 3 from 10am-4pm. All the workshops and performances are free with admission and we're giving away two free adult admission passes (kids under 12 are free). You can check the BBG website for a full schedule of performances, events and more information.

Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a pair of adult passes to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Lunar New Year Celebrations. A winner will be selected at 6pm tonight and notified by email.

And check back at the site later in the day for some more weekend activities.

Kicking off camp month with ACA camp fairs

campguide.jpgIn the country people spend the cold winter months planning their gardens. In New York City people spend their winters planning their summer vacations. Throughout February, Mommy Poppins will be bringing you lots of information about camps and summer programs for kids from toddler up through teens.

To get a jump start on the whole process, you may want to visit one of the American Camp Association camp fairs on Saturday, February 7 at Downtown Manhattan Friends Seminary or on Sunday, February 8 at The Berkeley Carroll School in Park Slope.

Visiting a camp fair is good way to scan through lots of different camps at one time and hone in on a couple that seem to fit your child's interests. Expect camps to have videos about their programs and Camp Directors to be available to answer questions. If you have an older child, definitely bring them along so they can check it all out for themselves.

See the times and locations of upcoming camp fairs.

For more information on summer camps, visit our Summer Camp Guide.

 

Best Posts of 1/08

This month we've been doing lots of indoor activities posts. Now we've gathered all our winter fun posts in to The Mommy Poppins Winter Fun Guide. It makes finding activities easy.

TOP POSTS FOR JANUARY

100 Things to Do With Your Kids in NY Before They Grow Up

Find Spring Inside a Giant Dome

Free Play at Tribeca’s New Indoor Play Space

Mamalu Indoor Playspace and Cafe is Mamaliscious

Mommy Poppins Readers’ Top 25 Places for NYC Kids

More Mommy Poppins news after the break.

The Secret Glass Gardens

Sadly, this garden has closed. New York is filled with amazing little secret spots that are cool to discover. One that's fun for kids on a cold winter day is the Rusk Institute's Glass Gardens at NYU Medical Center. This beautiful 1,700 square foot conservatory garden is right in midtown Manhattan, has a koi pond, tropical birds, a sand pit for kids and extra-wide stroller-friendly paths, since it was designed as a therapeutic garden and to accommodate wheelchairs.

Take a tour of our new site design

We recently redesigned this site, as most of you know. It took a couple more weeks of tinkering, but the site is now pretty much working the way it should, so we thought it was time to take you for a spin and show off some of the new features.

It all started with our reader survey. We asked readers to answer a few short questions about what they liked about the site and what you wanted to see more of. We got almost 100 responses packed with lots of great comments. Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer the survey. If you haven't taken the survey yet, it's not too late to make your voice heard.. We'll be announcing the winner of our survey giveaway on Friday.

Mommy Poppins Redesign Site Tour

Barnes and Noble Storytimes

We recently wrote about the Battery Park City as a nice place to spend a day indoors., with lots of different activities amenities. Well, here's a nice addition to this little outing: there's a big, brand new Barnes & Noble bookstore just about a block away at 270 Greenwich Street (the entrance is actually on Warren).

Mommy Poppins Readers' Top 25 Places for NYC Kids

Our Custom Made for Kids personalized children's book giveaway is over, and what a great response we got. Not only did we have lots of responses, but each commenter told us their favorite thing to do in NYC with kids. The list is filled with some wonderful gems. After the jump, our contest winner and Mommy Poppins Readers' Top 25 Things to Do with Kids in NYC.

Drop + Dine takes the terrible out of eating out with toddlers

drop_and_dine_logo_low_res.jpgHaving a grown up meal out in a restaurant isn't really a luxury. It can be a survival tactic for stressed out parents who have virtually forgotten that they share anything in common besides the DNA of their children and their inability to get The Wonder Pets theme song out of their head. But figuring out the whole babysitter thing can make going out to eat more a chore than a treat.

So when Brian Kaplan, founder of Parent Play, told me they were starting Drop and Dine it sounded like a great idea. Drop and Dine lets parents eat in peace and quiet in a nice restaurant while their children are entertained and fed just steps away in the private party room of the same restaurant.

 

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