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Jewish Museums in NYC: 6 Cultural Spots for Kids

One of the best aspects of growing up in NYC is that kids are exposed to lots of different cultures. In fact, it's not uncommon for children of all backgrounds to want to celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, Purim and Lunar New Year—and perhaps even teach their parents how it's done.

Exploring various traditions at school and with friends is fun, but there are also many New York City institutions where you can learn about different cultures in more depth, from the Museum of Chinese in America to the Japan Society to the National Museum of the American Indian. As the Jewish high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur approach, here are six great NYC spots where kids can learn about Jewish culture, traditions, and history.

Harvest Fests, Pumpkin Patches, and Hayrides Right Here in NYC

If you think you need to head out of the city for an authentic fall harvest experience, we've got good news: You can pick the perfect pumpkin, go on a hayride, meet farm animals, and even get lost in a massive corn maze right here in NYC.

So if you're looking to skip the car rental, hop onto the subway instead to head out to these fall harvest festivals and pumpkin patches, all located within the five boroughs. Looking for more fall fun? Check out our NYC Fall Fun Guide for the best of the season.

Best Events This Fall for NYC Preschoolers

Let the fall fun begin! This autumn there are loads of events, festivals, and shows in NYC just right for the preschool set, and as an added bonus, many are FREE! With fall fairs, petting zoos, and musical performances to choose from, you're bound to find the perfect event for your preschooler.

If you're looking for a festive day trip, find out where preschoolers can pick their own apples or even find the perfect pumpkin.

Visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum: Tips for Going to Ground Zero With Kids

Visiting Ground Zero with your kids is a deeply personal decision. Even if your family hasn't already talked about the terrible events of September 11, 2001, many children will learn about the attack on the city at school, from friends, or via the annual coverage of the anniversary. Whether you're breaking the news yourself, or your kids bring questions to you, a visit to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum might help provide some context and meaning.

You're probably aware that this isn't your typical kid-centric museum, and children may only be able to handle a small part of the exhibit without feeling emotional. So, whether your kid is a native New Yorker or you're just visiting, here are our parent-tested tips for your visit to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

Free and Cheap After-School Programs for NYC Kids and Teens

Tis the season for after-school program enrollment. Families looking for reasonably priced enriching and fun programs for their children have tons of sports, arts, academics, and other kinds of classes to choose from. In fact, a handful of high-quality after-school programs are actually free or super inexpensive!

Some places, like the New York City Parks Department, offer after-school coverage Monday through Friday. Other programs like those found at the Children’s Museum of Art (CMA) only meet once or twice a week. We've rounded up organizations that offer complimentary or reasonably priced classes to kids, tweens and teens throughout the five boroughs. Lots of the programs on this list have multiple enrollment periods per year. Check in with Mommy Poppins regularly to stay on top of enrollment options during the fall, winter, and spring.

Best Fall Festivals for NYC Kids in September

Kick off autumn at one of September's fun-filled (and mostly FREE) fall festivals in NYC. Annual family favorites abound this month, including top September GoList picks such as the Richmond County Fair and the annual Queens County Fair. For a lively local celebration, make sure you hit up the One Crown Heights Neighborhood Festival at the Brooklyn Children's Museum. There are also plenty of cool under-the-radar events you may not have heard of, including a marine science fest in Tribeca, a sweet honey fest in Rockaway Beach, and Italian fairs in the Bronx and on Staten Island, which are both a lot less crowded than San Gennaro.

So banish the back-to-school blues by hitting one (or more) of these kid-friendly festivals this September.

After-School Registration Now Open for Free NYC Program

We've told you all about the lottery for swimming classes operated by the NYC Parks Department, but did you know it also has you covered after school? Registration for the FREE after-school program run by the Parks Department opened on August 21, 2019 for NYC kids ages 6 to 13, and we've got details on what the program offers and how to sign up.

Find more after-school options in the Mommy Poppins Classes Guide.

31 Things We Can't Wait to Do This Fall in NYC

The other day, I spotted the first of the Halloween pop-up shops that dot city streets come Fall, and it hit me: Though my AC is working overtime, and I'm still cramming as much summer fun in with my kids as possible, the winds of change are blowing.

Rather than lamenting the things we didn't get to, though, we decided to look forward to what's on tap, so here's our season-long look at the family-friendly fall fun we can't wait to get started on. After all, we've got lots of assorted school holidays and long weekends to fill before the weather really changes. Without further ado, here are 31 things we're looking forward to doing this fall in NYC, a mix of seasonal favorites and new openings that has us actually looking forward to September.

Best Free Annual Parades in New York City for Kids

As the saying goes, everyone loves a parade. And in NYC, we have plenty of processions to choose from. During the warmer months, there are parades practically every week celebrating a wide variety of cultures and causes, and all of them are FREE.

While it's always cool to watch the colorful costumes, floats, and performers pass by, there are certain annual parades that are particularly great for families. These processions are either exceptionally vibrant like Chinatown's Lunar New Year Parade or the Three Kings Day Parade, or invite costumed kids to get in on the action like the small Halloween Parades that are much less intense than the big one in Greenwich Village.

Included in our list are parades we've attended—some many times—or others that come highly recommended. So, get our your calendar and save these dates to see if you can catch them all!

Go Fish: Where to Go Fishing with NYC Kids for Free (Even If You Don't Have Gear)

Fishing is a classic family activity, but it can only be done outside of NYC, right? Wrong. My husband and I have been fishing with our 9-year-old son in the five boroughs since he was a preschooler. It's relaxing and a great way to bond, plus it teaches patience (you definitely need it for this sport).

Not only does NYC offer different kinds of fishing experiences (freshwater, salt water, catch-and-release), there are organizations that even supply the rod, reel, tackle and bait so all you need to bring is a good attitude. Our rivers, lakes, ponds and beaches are truly teeming with fish, and we've got the scoop on where you and your kids can catch them.

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