Memorial Day Weekend Kicks off the Summer Season with Pools. Beaches, Sprinklers, Weekend Travel and Fish

Photo of the Week: This guy was waiting for the bus with us on Randall's Island last weekend and was dyin to show us the colassal striped bass he caught out of the East River. Believe me, it wasn't the worst smelling thing on the bus that day.

Woohoo, long Weekend! Memorial Day Weekend unofficially kicks off the summer season, meaning the beaches, sprinklers and swimming pools are all opening starting this weekend. Also opening this weekend is the new Luna Park amusement park at Coney Island.

New York Transit Museum's Summer Nostalgia Train Rides

[UPDATED: May 27, 2013] I'm sure I'm not the only one who has visited the New York Transit Museum and wished for a chance to ride on one of the old trains or buses on display. It would really be something to go back to an era when New Yorkers rode the tiny rattan seats on the BMT or held onto the leather straps of the IRT as the subways noisily bumped and jostled their way through the tubes.

Well time travel isn’t possible, but you can hop on some of New York City’s old trains and buses when the Transit Museum pulls out some of its vintage fleet for three special, all-day summer excursions. The trips each have different destinations and sound like a lot of fun. In fact they're filling up fast! If you have a little train fan in your house, don't miss this.

Our New Family Travel Guide

We love New York City as much as the next guy (maybe more), but, as they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder—so we love getting out of the city too. As Memorial Day Weekend rolls around we get pretty excited about summer day trips and weekend getaways and hopefully plans for a longer summer family vacation too.

In order to get organized for all those family travel plans, we've created our new Family Travel Guide, a page dedicated to all our posts about family travel destinations, family-friendly resorts, car-free day trips and some frugal family travel tips, including our great lists of 30 Family Friendly Day Trips From NYC and 75 Best Family Vacation Destinations to get you started.

Preschool Co-Op: How to Start an At-Home, Parent-Led Program

One of the urban legends spread to NYC parents is that you have to sign your children up for preschool while they're still in the womb. This isn't true. In fact, preschool is optional and there are lots of options out there from full day preschools to half day, preschool alternatives and enriching and nurturing day cares.

Our family decided to do something completely different and join some friends as part of a parent-led preschool co-op with our 2-year-old. I recently met with other moms who've done it before to hear their experience and tips on making it a success. 

Memorial Day Weekend Events for NJ Kids and Familes: Memorial Day at the Jersey Shore, Kite Festivals, & Battles Galore

Memorial Day is one of New Jersey's most important holidays: it means that it is time to hit the beach and the boardwalk!  And this weekend the Jersey Shore promises to deliver the best, including one of the nation's biggest kite festivals!  Kids can also get a taste of the country at sheepshearing festivals or by hopping on a hayride at a historical farm.  For those who want to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day, consider a trip to a historic farm or battlefield for a live reenactment or visiting some of NJ's naval or aviation museums...

Using the NYC Public School Report Cards to Find the Best Public Schools for Your Child

In the past few years the DOE has implemented many new standardized assessments for NYC public schools. Internally, there has been some grumbling, particularly from school administrators who have felt like these reviews do not paint accurate portraits of their schools and are unfair assessments, but are these reports useful for parents? What can you learn from these reviews when looking to choose a school for your child? And what other tools are available for parents?

Below find an overview of the different DOE school report cards, what each one will tell you and other useful tools in researching the best NYC Public Schools for your child.

NJ Weekend Events May 22-23: Free Fun Abounds with Bubble Wrap, Concerts, Sensory-Friendly Movies and Fitness!

It’s a crazy, mixed bag of activities in New Jersey this weekend, as we creep towards Memorial Day (the unofficial start of summer)! Bubble wrap art, birds, Broadway showtunes—and two rockin’ family bands headline our weekend selections. So go indoors for a sensory-friendly movie and the impossibly cool Dan Zanes & Friends, or sashay out into the sunshine for fitness festivals and the Laurie Berkner Band–don’t forget your sunscreen and a pig for your head!

Lots of Fun, Free and Fantastic Weekend Events for New York City Kids and Families: May 22 - May 23, 2010

This weekend is going to tire you out.  It tired me out just writing about it. There is a ton of stuff going on -- free puppet shows, catch and release fishing, free tennis, enriching nature activities, graphic novel readings and even a classic board game event.  But wait, that’s not all, there are also some huge annual events like Mamapalooza, The Brooklyn Folk Fest, the popular Touch a Truck Festival and the Hudson River Pageant. There's also the free Hebrew National Picnic Mommy Poppins will be co-hosting this Saturday on Randall’s Island. It is almost too much to cover in one post – but I will try my best.

Read on to plan a fun filled weekend, I don’t know how you will decide what to do, but I hope you have a great weekend doing it.  

10 One-Food Wonders for Lip Smackin’ New York City Snackin’

As parents we might do back flips to make sure our kids eat their daily 3-square chock full of veggies, whole grains and power fruits. However, sometimes it’s very fun (and wicked delicious) to ditch squaresville, flipping those pesky food pyramids on their points, in order to chow down on some of NYC’s awesome one-food-wonders. And we’re not talking about the cupcake craze either. NYC is fairly unique in offering a huge variety of obsessively crafted single-food stands and other illustrious eateries where there’s virtually just one thing on the menu. But oh what delectable things they are!

We’ve scoped out some the most kid-ilicious single-food snacks around. (You’ll love them too.) Enjoy some of the very best single-food sensations around, all under $10:

 

The High Line: How to Foil the Hipsters and Enjoy NYC's Hottest Park With Kids

Check out our latest post about the High Line with info on all three sections. The High Line has been hyped far and wide as one of NYC's hippest new parks, but is it actually a good destination to hit with kids?  There are no swings, no playgrounds, no grassy fields. No dogs or skates, scooters, trikes, bikes or balls are allowed. It's not really a park at all, more of a promenade. A promenade up a few flights of stairs, no less. Not to mention that one of the things it's become most famous for is being a great viewing location for watching guests of the Standard Hotel with a yen for x-rated exhibitionism.

But despite all those nos (and no-nos), there are some redeeming qualities for the High Line from a kids-eye view. While the High Line might not actually have anything to "do", you can make your own fun there with a little bit of creativity and preparation.

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