Bronx Family Resources

There are many organizations dedicated to improving life in the Bronx for families. From libraries to recreational facilities and programs, here's a list of the top places to get more out of the Bronx.

Free NYC kids weekend events and activities for March 28-29

Don't let the rain keep you from having a great time this weekend. there's so much to do. So maybe it won't be the best time to head out of town for Maple Sugar Weekend, but there's plenty more mostly free and always fun events for kids, from free ballet classes to some cool. alternative theater and performances and more.

By the way, we are having another HUGE giveaway event next week. In anticipation of Spring Break, we'll be giving away family pack tickets to 7 of the top shows for kids and families. There will be thousands of dollars in tickets given away with a different giveaway every day! In addition to the giveaways, we will also have discount codes for everyone, so don't miss it!

MTA Servce Specialists Protest MTA Doomsday Budget with a Smile

The MTA approved it's "doomsday budget" yesterday, which includes fare hikes and service cuts. But no worries, because the MTA Service Specialists have been deployed. Find out about the details of the new budget and the humorous stunt women who are commenting on the fare hike by taking to the rails dressed as retro airline stewardesses and offering riders the "service you deserve."

New DOE Kindergarten Registration Policy Successful...At Driving Parents Mad

We wrote earlier about the NYC DOE's decision to change some of the basic principles of Kindergarten admissions. The main one that they seem to be toying with is the promise that every child who lives within a school zone is entitled to a spot at that school. The fact that families would have to apply for their neighborhood schools was dropped on parents just weeks before the kindergarten application process began and gave parents no time to seriously reconsider their options.

Yesterday the NYTimes reported on the outcome of this system, which is that many families that expected seats in their local schools are being turned away. Parents are understandably frustrated, angry and worried and DOE spokesman, Andrew Jacob's, advice that families should "wait until September" is perhaps one of the most idiotic official responses I've ever heard—as if parents are going to sit on their heels until school starts in the Fall to figure out where their 5 year olds will attend school.

Drop-in, dress up and dance: Free weekend ballet lessons with NYC’s top Ballet Tech instructors.

Straight from my inbox:

The Gap is turning its rotating concept store on 5th Ave. and 54th St. into a Tiny Dancers ballet studio in partnership with Ballet Tech, a tuition-free ballet school started by world-renowned choreographer Eliot Feld. On Wed., March 25, Gap and Ballet Tech will be opening their doors to NYC’s aspiring “tiny dancers.”

Each Saturday and Sunday, the store will be open for participants to drop-in, dress up, and dance their heart out with instructors from Ballet Tech. The free drop-in lessons will be in session Sat., March 28, through Sun., April 26.

Crotona Park

The largest park in the South Bronx, Crotona Park is a 127 acre natural oasis containing 28 different species of trees, a 3.3 acre lake, 11 playgrounds, playing fields, and basketball courts. Most Bronxites would agree that the true gem of Crotona Park is the 300 foot public pool… it’s the perfect spot to take the kids to cool off on a hot summer day. Other big draws for families with young children who visit the park are the recreation and nature centers, both of which offer outstanding programming to introduce kids to nature. Crotona Park also has the honor of appearing in Mommy Poppins’ "Best Sledding Hills in New York City” post. For all you tennis buffs out there, Crotona Park’s 20 tennis courts are home to the annual Bronx Pro Tennis Classic.

Pelham Bay Park

At nearly 3,000 acres, Pelham Bay Park is the largest park in New York City (take that, Central Park!). Home to Orchard Beach, the Bartow-Pell Mansion, the Pelham-Split Rock Golf Course (the only 36 hole course in NYC), and a stone’s throw away from City Island, Pelham Bay Park provides almost any distraction you’re looking for to spend a day outdoors with the kids. From hiking to horseback riding to biking, this park has it all. The only negative aspect of Pelham Bay Park can be the crowds during the summer, but this is mostly an issue at Orchard Beach. With 3,000 acres, there’s plenty of space to go around!

Bronx Museum

The Bronx Museum is a wonderful resource for art lovers in the Bronx. Its exhibits tend to be fresh, exciting, and uniquely urban. However, we recommend planning ahead if you’re visiting with the kids in tow. Visit the website and take a look at the upcoming events. Quite often, the weekend events are free and catered towards children. Visiting just to tour the galleries may be a bit boring for kids if there are no workshops or activities planned. Beginning June 21st, 2009, there will be a groundbreaking exhibit installed along the length of the Grand Concourse. Dubbed the “Tree Museum,” artist Katie Holten has designed a ‘museum without walls’ as a celebration of the Grand Concourse’s 100th birthday. We cannot think of a better museum for kids than one without walls!

Barretto Point Park

Barretto Point Park may be small, but its position right along the banks of the East River makes it a must-see for families looking for a waterfront recreational option in the Bronx. The park’s access to the East River makes for some interesting amenities, such as piers perfect for fishing and a site from which to launch kayaks and canoes. The park’s recent claim to fame was that it was home of the hugely popular "Floating Pool” for the 2008 summer season.


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