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14 Free Concerts for NYC Kids This July

Thought there were a lot of FREE family concerts in June? Well, NYC's no-cost kiddie music scene really heats up as summer continues. For July, we've rounded up 14 complimentary concerts for families that are worth the time, energy, and effort. The entertainers range from big names to local bands who reflect the diversity of our city.

Most of these performances take place in NYC's attraction-filled parks, meaning you can make a day out of it. So pack a picnic, stake out a spot, lay down a blanket, and soak up some no-cost culture. You can find more family fun in our jam-packed Summer Guide or our list of 100 Free Things To Do This Summer in NYC.

13 Dual-Language and Immersion Preschools in Manhattan

Whether your toddler already speaks a second (or third) language at home, or if you’re simply hoping to give your monolingual child the gift of another language, there are plenty of great preschools where NYC kids may begin, or continue, learning another language. 

As with mastering any new skill, regular (and fun) practice makes a big difference in how quickly a child becomes comfortable speaking another language. We previously rounded up great Spanish language learning centers for school-aged kids, as well as Spanish sing-alongs for toddlers. Now, we're turning our attention to the preschool set, pulling together a sampling of immersion and dual-language preschool programs available in Manhattan. All our picks accept a mix of children at different levels of language proficiency, including absolute beginners.

Read on to find out where your tot can learn German, French, Mandarin and Spanish, and be sure to look through our NYC Preschool Listings and Directory for even more options, including dual-language playgroups and preschool alternatives. 

NYC Toy Stores for Special Needs Children

As anyone who's gone toy shopping in NYC knows, the choices are endless. For parents of children with special needs, shopping for toys brings on a whole different bunch of considerations. I've learned this whether buying or receiving toys as gifts for my two children who each received Early Intervention services.

Whether you're shopping for your own special-needs child or the child of a friend or relative, here are some New York City toy stores that carry outstanding products for children of all abilities. There are no chain stores here, just excellent independent shops where you'll get personalized attention (if you want it) from a knowledgeable staff who has seen and heard it all.

5 Things to Do on Mother's Day in NYC that Mom Will Love

Sure, a tasty Mother's Day brunch is nice, but just that word, nice. C'mon mom, you know you're more fabulous than that.

This year, Sunday, May 8 is all about you, so no simple meal, not even breakfast in bed will do. Mother's Day should be a whole-day affair that's fun for everyone in the family, especially in NYC, where options are as amazing as mom herself. You could book tickets to a kid-friendly Broadway musical—in addition to stalwarts Wicked and The Lion King, there are new tuners like School of Rock and Tuck Everlasting for which tickets are more available. If the tots are too young for Broadway, there are plenty of shows for preschoolers that are shorter and less expensive. Into museums? There are engaging new exhibits about dinosaurs, kid-lit icon Mo Willems and Star Wars sure to please all ages. Or you could splurge on a special experience such as a helicopter ride or a family spa day.

But if your ideal Mother's Day features an outdoor activity that makes the most of the spring season, we've come up with five memorable itineraries that include food and alfresco family fun that won't blow your budget.

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.

10 Postnatal Workout Classes for NYC Moms

Getting back into shape after having a baby can be daunting. But we know exercise gives us more energy, encourages a positive body image, and just seems to make us feel better. Don't know where to start? A postnatal exercise class geared toward new moms is a great way to get motivated, meet other new moms, and learn what exercises will help you look like your old self (or better).

We've rounded up 10 postnatal exercise classes in New York City that address the needs of your new body. Many are baby friendly and some offer free or discounted trial classes. As with any new exercise program, check with your doctor for the go-ahead.

Check our NYC Baby Guide from Pregnancy to Preschool for more new mom city info, or find more classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

NYC Maternity Stores: Where to Find Pregnancy and Nursing Gear

For pregnant mamas, dressing that bump often means loading up on cheap Target and Old Navy gear. After all, you're only going to wear it for nine months, right? But great maternity wear can make you feel like yourself again—or at least the NYC mama you want to be. We've found nearly a dozen New York City retailers who sell maternity clothes, plus great postpartum gear like nursing bras, breast pumps, pre- and postnatal classes and even adorable bespoke onesies for your tiny human that will soon be covered in spit-up but that you should totally splurge on now! 

So hit the many big box maternity retailers for your everyday T-shirts (you'll find several Motherhood locations in the city and a Pea in the Pod boutique in Macy's), but head to a local New York City retailer for something special or to find something that truly fits. Besides, you'll likely be visiting this store again to try on nursing bras and nothing beats a dedicated, knowledgeable staff and a carefully curated selection of excellent clothing and gear. Several even offer perks like lounge areas and nursing pillows for on-the-go breastfeeding.

Check our NYC Baby and Pregnancy Guide for more tips for expecting and new parents like some of Manhattan's more offbeat baby and me classes.

Best Events for Preschoolers in NYC This Spring

We've rounded up 14 of the city's best spring events for the preschooler and toddler set just as we near the end (we hope) of sub-zero temps and snow! We've included buzzy shows like Peppa Pig Live!, mellow but lovely performances like Curious George: The Golden Meatball, the always blow-your-socks-off Sakura Matsuri spring festival, a preschooler-friendly ballet and much more happening in April and May 2016 for New York City's younger kids.

Even more family springtime entertainment ideas can be found in our 2016 GoList, March GoList and our Event Calendar

Best Events for Preschoolers in NYC This Winter

We've rounded up fifteen of the city's best winter happenings for the preschooler and toddler set from hot-ticket kid spectacles like Daniel Tiger and Sesame Street Live to a low-key Greenpoint sock puppet show, an always catchy Music for Aardvarks concert and an upcoming Mo Willems exhibit that truth be told, might be more for mom and dad. 

Winter can feel mighty long when you're cooped up indoors with an antsy preschooler. So go ahead and bundle them into that winter gear to hit up these must-do January-March 2016 activities. We promise, we only picked options worth the winter gear struggle. 

Even more family winter entertainment ideas can be found in our Winter Guide or our just released 2016 GoList, covering the best events all year. 

10 Robotics Classes and Camps in New York City

When I was a kid, I dreamed I'd grow up to have a robot maid like on The Jetsons. So far, no such luck. However, there have been some amazing advancements in the robotics field. Thanks to easy-to-use Lego Mindstorms and WeDo robot building sets, my 9-year-old son is constantly making simple automated machines like Lego brick vehicles or motorized coffee cans. He loves figuring out how to put all the pieces together, and I'm always amazed at what he comes up with—perhaps he'll build me that robot maid yet!

If you also have a young robot fan at home, there are some really exciting robotics classes, camps, and events your little tinkerer will want to know about.

Here are 10 classes and camps fit for beginners and beyond, as well as a pair of leagues for advanced robotics builders, and an event sure to inspire builders of all ages and experience. You can find more high-tech entertainment in our Geek Guide.

Find more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

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