Things to do on Winter Vacation: Five Winter Break Camps

200902012204.jpgGot a note from Emmanuel who wanted to know about Winter Vacation Camps so we rounded up some cool ones. There are vacation camps for every kid from preschoolers to teenagers with lots of variety; science camps, arts camps, sports camps, even a week-long skiing and sleep away camp in the Berkshires. Cool.

Links: Valentines Crafts, Book Club for Boys, Free Brownies! More

200902032218.jpgAlready the middle of the week and have you considered the implications?  You only have ten days left (nine if you’re looking at the school calendar) to fulfill all of your Valentine’s Day obligations.  I’ve found the cutest, and free-est (c’mon, give me a fake word here and there) ideas for handmade giveaways appropriate for the holiday.  Check that out as well as ideas for reading fun with your boys, an ASAP audition for your talented child to be in the Wizard of Oz, and some help finding that earring you lost on the 6 Train.  Go to it!

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum-Camp Intrepid

Camp Intrepid – Explore, Discover, Learn! – 6-13 year olds:

SOSI- School’s Out, Ships IN
What?  School’s closed and you’ve no place to go?  The Intrepid Museum welcomes you aboard for SOSI –School’s Out, Ship’s In- a unique program that is only open when your schools are closed!  Together with your friends, explore the many aspects of the Intrepid –what was it like to be a crewmember?  Robotics and the Mars Rover on its Mission!  The Hudson – what’s in the water?  Snoopy Soars to new heights as the WWI Flying Ace!  Did you say SPACE CAMP?  That’s right and it’s all right here on board the Intrepid so sign up now and don’t miss another day!  For dates, to register and further information visit
Intrepid Investigators!
Is it the 3rd SATURDAY of the month already???  Time for another day of Family Fun with INTREPID INVESTIGATORS!  Join other families and participate in the exploration and activities that happen behind the scenes at the Intrepid Museum.  Be among the first visitors to investigate our 2 new exhibits –Snoopy: WWI Flying Ace (landing in December) and Mars Rover (touching down in January).
Bring the whole family and make a day of it!  For dates, to register and further information visit

Valentines Day Ideas: Parents’ Night Out Drop Off Childcare

Picture 50.pngTrying to save a few bucks by skipping out on a baby sitter doesn’t mean you have to be cooped up every Friday night, dreaming of sassy restaurants with plush furniture. Many places in New York City offer drop-off times, especially around Valentine’s Day, that allow you and your date to have some play time while the little guys are having a good (and safe ) time, too. Plus, drop-off services won’t leave your wallet as empty as that baby sitter of yours, you don't need to worry about paying for the car service home, and your kids will have so much fun they'll think it was their party night, not yours.

In honor of Cupid, skip the Netflix and try one of these happenin’ spots for a night on the town that’s fun for you and the kids. We've listed the Valentines Day event, but most of these places do a Parents' Night Out Event regularly, so check them out for now, or for later.

Visiting Universal Studios Theme Park: How a VIP Tour will save you money (as well as your sanity)

Last Spring the lovely people at Universal Studios Orlando invited us to visit their park in Florida for a VIP tour. It's not something I might have sprung for normally, but after having the most amazing theme park experience ever, I am completely sold that this is now the only way to ever see a theme park. And after doing a little frugal mommy math, I think I can even justify it as paying for itself.

So here's the deal with the Universal Studios VIP tour. I haven't been on any Disney World or any other theme park VIP tours so I don't know if they are all the same, but basically it works like this: You meet your guide and he chats with you about what kind of stuff you want to do. Then he takes you through the park, completely picking out the itinerary so you don't have to think about it at all. But the most amazing thing about the VIP tour is you cut every line (except like two rides that are too popular to let people cut without instigating a vengeful mob scene.) and move through the park at lightning speed, which not only is super cool and fun, but takes all the stress out of visiting a theme park, eliminates fights between siblings about where to go next, and completely eliminated my own exhaustion and fatigue.

Free Moey Music Concerts and Classes for Toddlers and Preschoolers

retouch-pompoms.jpgSome people think life is just one big party. If you are one of these un-serious people who's always looking to have "fun" and likes to be "cheerful" and "happy" then perhaps you would also enjoy going to a cheerful, happy party that was "free." Thanks to Moey, the New York City musician who is perhaps responsible for more cheerful happy, partiness than any self-respecting grown-up should be, there's going to be lots of free cheerful happy partying going around in New York this month. So grab your toddlers and preschoolers and go, but be sure to talk sternly to them afterward so they don't get the wrong idea about life.

Moey's going to be partying at these New York Public Library Branches:

Free Weekend Activities: More Chinese New Year, a Pow-Wow, Science and Architecture for Kids

200901292113.jpgThis weekend is jam-packed with fun Chinese New Year Activities. Find the best ones in our previous Lunar New Year activities round-up. In our Free Friday round-up today we've got the best activities for this weekend, mostly free, including a couple new Chinese New Year events, a real PowWow, budding architects can learn about sustainable design, and a new series at the Museum of Natural History that will get your little scientists excited. Have fun!

3 More Cool Art Exhibits for Kids in New York City to See Now

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Alexander Calder exhibit at the Whitney, But there are a couple of other grown up art exhibits going on that are interesting for kids too. Installations that will puzzle and charm, let kids physically interact with the work and art works that are made from everyday objects that children will recognize, bring art to life for kids, engaging their imaginations, inspiring their creativity and remind you why you're in New York again. Check out these exhibits at MoMA, P.S. 1 and The Museum of Art and Design.


Kids Eye View: What are those railroad spikes doing in our city streets?


As a grown up I don't pay nearly as much attention to the asphalt as I used to when I was a kid. As a kid growing up in Manhattan, the asphalt was like an entire eco-system, full of magical discoveries waiting to be made and questions to be solved. Like seeing a dime completely embedded into the street, oil slicks from leaking cars that created beautiful rainbows or, when it would rain, gutter streams that we would sail trash down (ah, the bucolic 70s in NYC).

One thing that always fascinated me was when you would happen upon a railroad spike sticking out of the street. My mother explained to me about how they were from old trolley lines that had been paved over and then the movement of the earth forces them back up through the pavement.  Really? This whole idea rocked my world because obviously the pavement is the ground and solid and there can't be anything under there, especially not stuff that can move and come up through the solid ground. If history can just push itself back up into the present, what else is under there waiting to turn up?

Camp Fair for Children with Special Needs

[UPDATED: July 18, 2012]

Figuring out the right summer camp for your kid can be puzzling, but if you have a child with special needs, the issue becomes even more complicated. Special needs children benefit from the experiences of camps, just like any other children, but what can your child handle? What can the camps handle? What is available and what's right for your kid?

Luckily, Resources for Children with Special Needs has a camp fair just for families of special needs children. Whether your child is autistic, learning or physically disabled, the Special Camp Fair provides information and resources to help parents find the right camp for their child or teenager. This is a great way to find out about the many programs that are available and things your child can do that maybe you never thought they would be able to.


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