Secret NYC Parenting Resource: Your Local College

School might be the last place you'd think of taking your kids for entertainment, but The City University of New York system features fantastic family fun on the syllabus all year ‘round. And the best part? You don’t even need to be an alumna to enjoy it. So whether your kid is into ballet, rock, reading, theater or the circus, your local CUNY college has got you covered—and usually at a much lower price than you’d pay for similar activities elsewhere.

Let us school you on your upcoming shows or check their sites for more upcoming performances:


Free Scavenger Hunt, Working Moms Luncheon, $15 Disney Tickets, More Public School News, etc.

Yesterday we posted 40 things to do with your kids on a staycation. Today we've got a handful more tips for great activities, news and discounts going on right now, from $15 tickets for Disney shows on Broadway to a conference just for working moms, the story behind public school and real estate, free scavenger hunts, and more.

Here's the scoop:

Kids of Hanami Photo Contest


Hanami is the Japanese tradition of viewing and cherishing the cherry blossom season. And there's no better place to enjoy the beauty and grace of cherry blossoms than at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which has more flowering cherry trees in one place than anywhere else in the world outside of Japan! Strolling beneath the stunning, pink canopy of blooms is a wonderful spring tradition the whole family can enjoy and Sakura Matsuri, the two-day cherry blossom festival (May 2 and 3, 2009), has delighted families for over 25 years.

For children, Hanami is a delightful learning experience: watching the seasonal magic of spring as the trees show their first buds, burst into a luscious bloom, and finally send out a flurry of petals that carpet the ground in pink and are replaced on the trees by the tiny green leaves of summer.

To celebrate Hanami, Mommy Poppins is teaming up with Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a great photo contest.


Enter our Hanami Photo Contest to win an incredible prize package.

Cool NYC Restaurants for Kids with Food Allergies or Vegetarians

It can be hard eating out when your child’s on a restricted diet: You struggle to find a place that serves what he can eat, or you find one and he won’t eat what they serve. But you won’t have those problems at these places, which are convenient and kid-friendly. We've rounded up a handful of restaurants which serve meals that all kids will like and can eat even if they are vegan, vegetarian or have food allergies. Plus, they're all cool and fun for New York kids.

Final Spring Giveaway: Thomas and Friends Live! Tickets


If you have a toddler who loves Thomas, then you're going to love this giveaway. Thomas the Tank Engine returns to the Beacon Theatre with an all new, live musical adventure: Thomas and Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes to Town.

Thomas lovers will follow the familiar tale from the Island of Sodor, where Thomas and his friends must learn to work together to prepare for an exciting event under the Big Top. All your child's favorites, Percy, James, Gordon, Sir Topham Hatt and of course Thomas and a cast of circus performers will entertain with a story that teaches the importance of friendship and cooperation.

We're giving away 4 tickets to Thomas and Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes to Town. And, don't forget to enter our giveaways for Dear Edwina and The Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Spring Giveaway #6: Win Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus Tickets


When I was a kid the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus was the circus. But now, we haven't been to the Ringling Brothers Circus in years. There's a lot of circus competition now with not just The Big Apple Circus, but Cirque de Soleil and lots of small circus acts. But this year, I have heard great things about the big Ringling Brothers circus. They've gotten rid of the three ring format and made their acts more of a visual feast a la Cirque de Soleil, but with animals. It sounds like it's beautiful, magically and truly a special performance.

We're giving away 4 tickets to the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus Zing Zang Zoom. And, while there's still time to enter our Dear Edwina giveaway, tomorrow will be our last giveaway of this event with tickets to Thomas the Tank Engine at Madison Square Garden. So check back in tomorrow, but see below for how to win the Circus tickets.

Spring Giveaway #5: Dear Edwina Tickets and Discount

200904030040.jpgAs usual, toward the end of our giveaway events, things start to heat up a little bit. There's still time to enter our La Famiglia Dimitri Giveaway. This afternoon we'll be posting a Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus giveaway, and tomorrow it's Thomas the Tank Engine. But right now we've got the critically acclaimed (and not just by my own discerning critics) Dear Edwina.

Dear Edwina is about a girl who has a rocking advice column she performs out of her garage. It is a great show with a great message and super songs. Check out our full review here. But if you want details on how to win four free tickets plus a discount code, click to read more. And stay tuned for the great giveaways coming up later today and this weekend.

Enter to win 4 tickets to Dear Edwina:

Free weekend activities for NYC kids April 4-5: Easter Egg Hunts, Festivals and More

This weekend is chock full of Spring fun. You might want to try an Easter Egg Hunt in New York City or on Long Island. There are some great places to enjoy a nice day trip. But Easter could always wait till next weekend, cause there are lots of other cool events happening his weekend, from a juggling festival to a "Petacular", the season "openings" of Coney Island and Prospect Park, and the not to be missed International Pillow Fight Day or Brooklyn Kids Record Day. Check those activities out and more inside:


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