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.

Best Holiday Shows for NYC Kids

'Tis the season to get the gang all dressed up to see some holiday shows. While there are certainly lots of spectacles to splurge on beyond the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and all those Nutcrackers, if you've got young children you may not want to blow all of your bucks on theater tickets. That's why our roundup includes a range of productions, from inexpensive, low-key offerings perfect for fidgety preschoolers, to extravaganzas that are worth the money. Bonus: We've got the scoop on how to save money to a few of the higher-priced offerings.

From live stage adaptations of holiday classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas and Elf to tot-friendly puppet shows to offbeat, eye-popping circus and dance, here are our top 16 holiday shows for NYC families.

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.

Best Fall Theater Shows for NYC Kids

Autumn marks the start of a new theater season, but you don't need to shell out big bucks on Broadway shows to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. This fall, preschoolers will go gaga for engaging, page-to-stage adaptations of some of their favorite picture books like Goodnight Moon, The Velveteen Rabbit and Click, Clack, Moo, while school-age children can catch a show about the American Revolution, an avant-garde lineup of shorts and kid-friendly Shakespeare. There are even a pair of productions specifically created for children on the autism spectrum. Best of all, 10 of our picks are $20 or less per ticket.

Two Free NYC Preschool Fairs Help Parents Learn About Their Options

It seems like it's never too early to start thinking about school in NYC, but for parents of toddlers, September means the start of the anxiety-provoking preschool admissions process. To help humanize and demystify the experience, Mommy Poppins is sponsoring two Preschool and Early Education Fairs for NYC families this month.

These FREE events offer one-stop shopping where parents can get the scoop on dozens of preschools, alternative programs and other enrichment options in a casual, stress-free environment. All you need to do is register for the Uptown or Downtown Fair and show up!

Must-See Outdoor Art: 9 Exhibits Kids Will Love

Those seeking alfresco art have plenty of options to choose from this summer as a slew of brand-new, kid-friendly displays just debuted in New York City.

So skip the indoors, and make the city's parks and streets your summer museum while you check out these nine public works of art, including a giant Hello Kitty and a cheerful canopy of colorful umbrellas. Our list includes uptown and downtown spots, Times Square, Brooklyn, Governors Island and the Bronx.

Find even more outdoor public art in New York in our earlier list of spring debuts.

News: MoMath's New Competition, Free Coding for Teens, Parks Update

As summer kicks into high gear, parks all over NYC are undergoing (or finishing up) major rehab projects—and we've got the details for you here. Other news this week includes an upcoming FREE coding event for tweens and teens, MoMath's songwriting competition and news about test-making company, Pearson, that will affect next year's state standardized tests. Read on for this week's news highlights and be sure to sign up for our free newsletters, if you haven't already, to stay up to date on the latest NYC news, reviews and more. 

Art Portfolio Prep for NYC Kids: Preparing to Apply to Specialized Art High Schools

When my oldest son was 8, he said his ambition in life was to sell his art on the street. So it's no surprise that at age 13 he's set his sights on getting into Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

Like other specialized art high schools, including the High School of Fashion Industries, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, and the High School of Art & Design, LaGuardia requires applicants to submit portfolios of their work. While talent is key, taking a professional portfolio preparation class can really give applicants a leg up on the competition. We've rounded up New York City programs that help tweens and young teens prepare their artwork to apply to these popular high schools.

Film Classes for NYC Kids

These days, kids can make movies using their cell phones. One look at YouTube is proof enough, but my older son's really into cinema and has sent me searching for film classes.

I'm well aware he may not turn out to be the next Scorsese, but he can learn lots of interesting skills in these programs. Many of them go way beyond the camera; he'll also get to try his hand at auditioning, storyboarding, editing and maybe even animation depending on which class he takes.

If nothing else, once he finishes, he can help me go through that hard drive of family footage I've amassed. Here are seven places that offer kids' film classes. Ready ... Set ... Action!


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