Ft Greene

The Best Children's Theater in NYC This Spring

Beloved children's characters spring to life on stage this season. Our top theater picks for the coming months include musicals starring popular little-kid icons such as Curious George, Peppa Pig, Clifford the Big Red Dog and the Runaway Bunny. But there are plenty of cool shows for tweens, too, including an interactive adventure staged throughout Lincoln Center's grounds, a trio of offbeat circus performances and a revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown starring theater pros who are still in middle school.

While there are some big Broadway shows debuting this spring, including a musicalization of Tuck Everlasting and Cirque du Soleil's first-ever Main Stem spectacle Paramour, there's no need to shell out big bucks to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. A dozen of the 14 shows we're highlighting are just $25—or less—per ticket.

6 Favorite Brooklyn Prenatal Massage Spots

Pregnancy, for all its blissful reward, takes an undeniable physical toll on a woman’s body. Along with regular prenatal care, a top-notch therapeutic massage can work wonders to relieve muscle aches, reduce swelling and lower stress and anxiety for the mama-to-be. Not to mention growing humans is hard work and opportunities to indulge should never be passed up.

With the aches and pains of pregnancy still vivid in our minds, we rounded up six of our favorite Brooklyn prenatal massage spots. Among our picks, Swedish massage, with its focus on gentle muscle relaxation and boosting blood and lymphatic circulation, is often the prenatal massage therapy of choice, with add-on services available. Check out our NYC Baby Guide for more pre- and postnatal tips and services.

The Best Children's Theater in NYC This Winter

Little ones will go gaga this winter for page-to-stage adaptations of some of their favorite picture books, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Velveteen Rabbit. Meanwhile, NYC tweens can catch one-of-a-kind spectacles such as the live-action graphic novel Intergalactic Nemesis: Book One Target Earth, the interactive adventure Legend Has It and a musicalization of The Lightning Thief.

Recently, we shined a spotlight on the best Broadway shows for families in New York. But you don't need to shell out big bucks to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC—plenty of engaging family productions are playing Off-Off-Broadway. Eight of the following 15 best winter theater picks are $25 or less per ticket.

School Closed? These NYC Camps Host Kids on Veterans Day and Other Holidays

Kids love days off from school like Election Day and Veterans Day (Tuesday, November 3 and Wednesday, November 11, respectively). Working parents? Not so much. While there are many wonderful mini-camps to choose from during extended school breaks, it's harder to find coverage for one-off holidays that pop up throughout the academic year.

But we did the research and found a slew of engaging, full-day, drop-off programs on these holidays where kids can enjoy activities like swimming, theater, robotics and chess. So there's no need to take the day off from work or schlep the kids to the office! Send your children to one of these cool holiday camps instead.

Halloween Goes to the Dogs: NYC Dog Costume Parades & Contests

There's nothing cuter than seeing little kids decked out in cool costumes...except, perhaps, dogs done up in fancy duds. Before I became a mom, I always looked forward to dressing up my pup, Hamlet, during the Halloween season. Now my son and I both enjoy this annual tradition. Over the years, our dog has been a skunk, Dracula and a grape, but frankly, these get-ups are pretty tame compared to some of the wild and creative outfits we've seen at NYC's many Halloween pet parades and costume contests.

Of course, you don't need to have a dog to enjoy these costumed canine extravaganzas, everyone is invited to gawk and "awwww." We found a handful of Halloween happenings for hounds in all five boroughs, so hit these parades to see who's really top dog.

You can find lots more season fun in our jam-packed Halloween Guide.

Kids Cuts: Haircutting Salons for Boys & Girls in Brooklyn

You can't hold on to that soft and glorious baby hair forever. Eventually, you have to get the kid a proper haircut. While you can hit the local barbershop, Brooklyn's dedicated kiddie hair salons offer a more memorable and (hopefully) tear-free experience. The stylists are accustomed to snipping squirmy tots, and DVDs, toys and balloons keep nervous kids distracted and happy. A few spots even offer activities like storytime and classes. So pack up your little one and head to one of these cutters.

Live in another borough? Check out our roundups of children's salons in Manhattan and Queens.

15 Revolutionary War Sites in NYC That Bring Our Country's History to Life for Kids

As a diehard history nerd, I've taken my nine-year-old son to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia (twice!), and we've visited Philadelphia and Boston, both cities with major Colonial cred, numerous times. But some of the most important Revolutionary War battles and key events took place right here in NYC, so, really, you can bring the birth of our nation to life in a way no textbook can just by using your MetroCard. 

See where George Washington slept during the war and the Bible he used for his inauguration; check out where the battles of Fort Washington, Harlem Heights and Brooklyn were waged; and tour Founding Father Alexander Hamilton's home all without leaving the boroughs. Plus, many of these sites host special interactive activities like living historical reenactments, battles and commemorations.

Here are 15 NYC sites where kids (and grown-ups!) can connect with the events and people who helped found our country.

Holiday Markets in New York City 2014

New York City is a flurry of holiday shopping at this time of year. There are wonderful seasonal markets all over town selling crafts, unique boutique goods, food and more. These cool local spots aren't just in Manhattan either; there are several markets in the outer boroughs, too.

Unlike the craziness of Black Friday, these shopping experiences are much more relaxed for families. Plus, you're often supporting local businesses and artisans. We love shopping local so much, we made it the focus of our Holiday Gift Guide. Read on for our round-up of New York City holiday markets.

Best New Classes for NYC Kids Fall 2014: 13 Enriching After-school Programs

When it comes to enriching after-school programs, NYC kids are totally spoiled—and their choices seem to get more plentiful and diverse every year. Our Classes Guide is already packed with a wide variety of posts, from coding classes to cheerleading, robotics to circus arts, as well as more traditional sports and arts lessons.

This fall's crop of brand-new classes brings a bunch of fresh options for all ages to the mix, including preschool music lessons developed by kindie rock queen Laurie Berkner, a program for tween entrepreneurs, hardcore computer coding for teens and an in-depth intro to the likes of Shakespeare and Socrates. In all, we rounded up 13 notable new kids' classes that either launch this fall or recently debuted. See which ones pique the interest of your young learner.

You can find out about even more excellent programs in our Classes Guide and our Class Directory, which allows you to sort listings by age, interest and neighborhood.

Special Needs Dance Classes for NYC Kids

A few weeks ago I wrote about special needs music classes for kids in the five boroughs. Today I'm spotlighting dance programs for children with special needs in NYC.

Just as organizations like Daniel’s Music Foundation changed my son’s life and allowed him to be able to get up on stage in front of people and sing, there are dance programs that help children with special needs do the same with dance. There are a variety of dance classes and summer camps throughout NYC for children with special needs. Here are some of our favorites:

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