Financial District

Visiting the 9/11 Memorial with Kids: Should You Do It and What You Need to Know

Whether you believe it's important to discuss the events of September 11, 2001 with your children or wish you could shield them all together, kids learn about 9/11 at school, from the media and their peers. So the question is, what can we as parents do to help our children process and learn from the events of 9/11?

For children born around or after 2001, 9/11 probably seems like something abstract—a tragedy that happened in history. Visiting the 9/11 Memorial can, perhaps, help make it feel more real. So, what's it like to visit the 9/11 Memorial with children? What's the security like, and how do you get tickets? I took my nine-year-old this weekend and I'll share our experiences.

Battery Park with Kids: 8 Fun Things to Do in the FiDi Green Space for Families

The Battery, the park at the southern most tip of Manhattan Island, is to lower Manhattan what Central Park is to upper Manhattan. The welcoming, green space has been enlarged twice during its lifetime with landfill and is now the largest open space in downtown Manhattan—25 acres of waterfront property. The Battery is a beautifully landscaped garden full of memorial statues and public art, great views and not just of the Statue of Liberty, either. The promenade is a perfect place to stroll, ride bikes, scooter or just sit in the sunshine. Most people think of it as the place to get the boats for the Statue of Liberty, but I like to think of it as the “front lawn” for the whole city and a perfect outing for the whole family.

Find out how to get the most out of a day out with kids in the Battery:

NYC Allergen-Free Bakeries: 10 Sweet Spots for Gluten-Free, Nut-Free & Dairy-Free Cakes & Other Treats

In addition to having a teenager with special needs, my family was recently thrust into the world of food allergies. Our youngest is severely allergic to dairy, soy and nuts, and since I'm still nursing, that means I can't eat anything with those ingredients either. We've been allergen-free for about a year now, but as my son gets older, he’s beginning to beg for the same goodies that his brothers and sister get, making feeding the kids quite challenging, especially when we're out and about.

Thankfully, NYC isn't just filled with allergen-free restaurants, it also has plenty of allergen-free bakeries. In fact, I've discovered so many delicious shops selling nut, soy, dairy and gluten-free treats like cakes, cookies and even ice cream, I'm almost grateful to be eating allergen-free... almost. Here are 10 of my family's favorites.

Purim Parties for NYC Kids: Put on Your Costumes and Make Some Noise in Honor of the Festive Jewish Holiday

You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy Purim. Often called the Jewish Halloween, Purim is a super-fun holiday when kids can do some of their favorite things, like dress up, play games and eat treats.

Inspired by the great biblical tale of Queen Esther, who saved the Jews from annihilation by standing up to her husband's evil adviser Haman, Purim is celebrated by reading the Megillah (Esther's story), noshing on hamantaschen (triangular fruit-filled pastries meant to represent Haman's ears—gruesome but tasty) and rejoicing in a carnival-style atmosphere.

This year, Purim officially begins on the evening of Saturday, March 15 and ends at sundown the next day, but Jewish cultural institutions are marking the holiday both this weekend and next. So get your Halloween costumes out of the back of your closet and get ready to make some noise: Here are the top 10 Purim celebrations for New York City families.

See Free Animated Movies at the National Museum of the American Indian this Winter

The National Museum of the American Indian, which is located in the stunning Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, is a great destination on any day, literally. It's one of only a few NYC museums that are open every day throughout the year (save Christmas) and admission is always free.

But this winter, there's a new reason to visit: The institution's first-ever Animation Celebration! Looking North. Instead of bundling up and listening to traditional tales around a fire, families are invited to experience the vibrant stories and culture of Native Americans from Canada’s Arctic and Subarctic regions in the museum's toasty second floor screening room.

Restaurants Near the 9/11 Memorial to Eat at with Kids

Ground Zero has become a must-see destination for many families visiting NYC. Making a visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum meaningful for children may be challenging, but finding a decent place to eat nearby is even more so. Besides all the construction still under way, the neighborhood lunch spots mainly cater to office workers from the Financial District so there are a lot of fast-food chains and delis with limited seating.

If you are heading up to Tribeca afterward, you'll find many family-friendly restaurants but in the immediate vicinity of the World Trade Center site, options are a more limited. Luckily, I know the area well and can give you the inside scoop on where to look for the best inexpensive kid-friendly restaurants and eats near Ground Zero.

New Toy Stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn 2012

Our NYC Shopping Local Gift Guide is chock-full of great places to find cool kids' items, from seasonal pop-up shops to holiday markets to year-round family favorites. But in addition to hitting your usual go-to shops, why not try something new?

We've found seven new toy stores that opened in Manhattan and Brooklyn over the past year, many specializing in handcrafted, eco-friendly playthings that you won't find in the big chains. Bonus: Some of these shops also offer classes, sing-alongs and special events for kids, so you may find yourself hitting these spots long after the holidays are over.

Our Fun Holiday Event Will Help You and Hurricane Sandy Victims

Holiday Portrait Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser Sunday, December 2 at J&R Jr.
Limited space available. Reserve your portrait session now!

Mommy Poppins is hosting a special holiday event that we hope will add some holiday cheer, make your life a little easier and give to those who need it most this year.

Our Holiday Portrait Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser will help you check one of the toughest seasonal tasks off your list: holiday cards. You'll get cool portraits, discounted holiday cards and gift shopping, fun holiday activities all in one—and 100% of the proceeds go to Hurricane Sandy relief. That's a true win-win-win. Read on for all the details about our Holiday Portrait Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser.

NYC Boat Cruises: Best Boat Trips in New York Harbor

We're always looking for ways to experience New York City's vast and lovely waterfront, from kayaking and rowing to hopping on the Staten Island or East River Ferries to going on touristy boat rides. But nothing beats cruising through New York Harbor.

With breathtaking views of the city, tours of New York Harbor aren't just for visitors. Whether you choose an adrenaline-pumping speedboat, relaxing sailboat or even a sightseeing cruise (hey, natives are allowed on them, too), New York Harbor rides offer local families a chance to fall in love with our city all over again.

Best New NYC Summer Day Camps for Kids 2012

[UPDATED: February 18, 2013]  We realize the number of summer camps in NYC can feel overwhelming. There are literally hundreds of day camps to choose from in the five boroughs, and it seems like new ones pop up every year.

All of these notable NYC summer day camps debuted in summer 2012 with innovative and enriching programs, and they're back this summer, too. Kids can create awesome robots, make like Jeremy Lin on the basketball court, start on the great American novel, commune with nature, or grab a hammer and nails and start building. These camps sound so awesome we want to go!

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