Linkin B'logs - Ear Orgasms, School Report Cards, Trader Joe's comes to Brooklyn and More

All that bad news last week has me totally burned out on politics and the economy right now so keep reading for a lighter take on this week's news (with the exception of the school report cards, but hey, thats something that is pretty near to all our hearts).

Report Cards for Schools. If you haven't already checked, take a look at the results of the 2007-08 NYC Department of Education report cards for every school in the city. The letter grades which range from A to F are based on the school environment, student performance and student progress. Then check out the inside schools blogs to read up on the debate on the report cards.

Mo' Joe.  Trader Joe's is coming to Brooklyn with a store opening

New York Apple Picking and Fall Festivals

[UPDATED: 9/21/08]

Growing up in New York City, one of our family traditions was going apple picking in the Hudson Valley every Fall. It's a tradition I've enjoying continuing with my own kids because it's a great day out in the country, it's economical (considering the price of apples from FreshDirect), and it's even trendy (if you're into the locavore thing). It's a great activity for Columbus Day Weekend, but there are also a bunch of free Apple Festivals right here in NYC if you don't feel like taking the kids traveling.

Story Pirates Comedy Shows for Kids

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September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day (but really, can't Pirates pretty much just board and take over any day they want?) and to celebrate we thought we'd share a really cool program we just heard about. The Striking Viking Story Pirates are a terrific comedy troop that have nothing to do with pirates except that they steal their ideas from kids stories, comics or barely-legible sentences, and turn them into ridiculous shows performed by puppets and costumed grown ups who wish they were kids, or puppets, or both. Jon Stewart raved about it on Larry King (You know, that crazy, fun kid show) and I'm raving now, in piratese. So avast, me hearties, go smartly and purview the Striking Viking Story Pirates 'ere I slap your bung hole with a hornpipe, aye!

Free Fun Friday - Kids Film Festival, Historic House Festival, Maize Mazes and More


Stills from films to be shown at the Jackson Heights Film Festival
 

If you do one thing this weekend, head over to the 3rd annual Jackson Heights Kids Film Fest where you can catch 14 short children's films, many of which are award-winning and hot off the film festival circuit. This year's selections include films that explore themes of both American and immigrant life, the avant-guard and classic video games. Held at the Eagle Theater, Jackson Height's very own Bollywood venue, the event draws families in search of a kid-friendly afternoon of movies that go far beyond the usual Disney fare. Really, where else can you watch a range of cool short films while munching on a samosa and holding your toddler in your lap? As an added bonus, after the films join the post screening dance party with the Opus Ditty band. $10 (kids under 10 free) Sunday. 10:30AM - 12 PM.

Plus....

The Brooklyn Children's Museum

This weekend is the Grand Reopening of the Brooklyn Children's Museum after an $80 Million renovation and expansion. I got a sneak peek today and am excited to share lots of pictures and details about this amazing new space, plus grand opening events and special pricing information.

For the past year the Brooklyn Children's Museum has been closed while undergoing an $80 million renovation and expansion. The Museum officially opens to the public on September 20th with twice as much space and three times the programming. It is now also the first museum in NYC to go Green. The building is certified as a green building and the Museum will be offering programs to teach children about the building and it's systems as well.

I was incredibly impressed with the new museum's exhibits. They have turned the old, somewhat rag-tag museum into a new world class cultural institution, but one that stays true to and celebrates it's Brooklyn roots. Particularly the World Brooklyn exhibit, which is like a combination of old school Sesame Street and Disney's Epcot Center.

Free Outdoor Fun - New Exhibit at the Socrates Sculpture Park

IMG_0335.JPGAll signs are pointing towards a really depressing economy but as bad as it may get, the kids still need fun stuff to do! Which is where we come in, we promise you that NY remains a great place with kids and there are loads of great free activities so please don't go running now that the stock market is tanking. Stick with us and we will keep churning out great ideas on how to spend your days where all you need is a metro card and some PB&J's in your bag.

Calling all SAHMs: Looking for Work? Get Your 10 Minutes of Fame & Free Job Coaching

Wanted:  New York Mom that is looking to get back into the workplace because of financial necessity for an article in a major magazine. If that sounds like you and you are ready for "extensive coaching" to get you started and ok with being interviewed and photographed for a major magazine check out this awesome opportunity that was posted on the Fort Green Parents list...

Linkin B'logs - Cash Flow, Homework, Breastfeeding and More Dispatches from the War on Getting Children to Eat Veggies

This week's most important stories for parents, so you can be the most-in-the-knowiest.

Hard Times. Feeling the money crunch these days? You're not alone. Frugal Dad reports that nearly half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. And, 25% of all workers reported they save nothing each month. If this is you, check out the post, there are some really good tips on what you need to do to start saving. And by the way its not just the little people, according to the Times, this week saw "one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street’s history" with major companies like Lehman Brothers seeking bankruptcy protection.

Financial Planning for Toddlers. With all this bad news, its a good idea to teach little ones the values of saving now.

Theater for the Very Young: The Green Sheep

I often wonder at what age my daughter will be ready to go to the movies. But until we were invited to The Green Sheep at the New Victory Theater I never even imagined taking my two year old to a Broadway show.

Based on the popular children's book Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek, the show is an interactive theater experience for kids ages 1-5. The audience sits in a "sheep pen" and the action takes place all around so kids are free to fidget, stand, talk, walk and hug their mommies which makes it the perfect first performance experience for kids. And, I can honestly report that I watched probably close to 60 babies and toddlers delightedly follow along and heard not one cry the entire time.

Don't Miss: Bhutanese Dancing Monks on NYC Streets

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Sometimes the streets of NYC can be the most magical place in the world. This will become true for the next nine days when Bhutanese ritual dancers will be appearing throughout the city every day to perform their mesmerizing ancient Tantric Buddhist demon subjugation dance, called Cham. The elaborate costumes of the 13 monks who will be performing are enough to make this event spectacular, but the performance, a kind of danced yoga, makes this a once in a lifetime occurrence.

Bhutan is a tiny, secretive and isolated kingdom in the Himalayas, with very little outside influence and extremely limited tourism is allowed, making the opportunity to see the Bhutanese monks dancing on the streets of our city, for free, an absolutely not to be missed opportunity.

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