Long Island City

9 Yoga Studios in NYC with Parent-Child Classes

Mommy & Me yoga classes are a weekly date for my son and me. We have been going since he was about two years old and now, more than a year later, we are having as much fun as ever.

I have found that yoga is a great way to bond with your child while also getting a workout. When my son first started taking these classes, he loved being able to show off his downward dog or butterfly pose. Since then, he has gained great strength and flexibility, and even knows how take a deep breath as a means to calm himself—a technique we have used to stave off many a temper tantrum.

If you and your tot are looking to get your om on, here are our picks for Mommy & Me yoga programs in NYC.

Pierogies, Meatballs and Ice Cream Sandwiches: 14 Fun Specialty Savory and Sweet Spots

One-item specialty restaurants aren't anything new in NYC. This city practically invented bagel, doughnut and pizza spots. Since we first told you about the emerging culinary phenomenon back in 2010, the dining landscape has greatly changed. Some of those eateries, like The Meatball Shop, have opened additional outposts; others have sadly closed. (We do have high hopes that East Village mainstay, Pommes Frites, will eventually reopen after being shuttered by the recent gas explosion.)

That said, this super-specialty restaurant trend is here to stay, which is great news for families since most of these dining destinations offer quick service, and kid-friendly ambiance and menus. Dig in to delicious chicken fingers with a variety of unique sauces, plates of gourmet mac and cheese, sandwiches on homemade biscuits or plump pierogies. Finish off your meal with a sweet treat like an artisanal doughnut, ice cream sandwich or bowl of rice pudding.

Here is our list of 14 single-item specialty restaurants that kids will love in NYC.

Free & Cheap Indoor Movies for NYC Kids this Summer

We recently rounded up free outdoor film screenings for New York City families. But with temperatures stuck in the 80s and 90s, there are days when all you want to do is spend a few hours in a nice, dark, air-conditioned movie theater—you just don't want to shell out $30-plus to do it.

Happily you don't have to. Wonderful family flicks are playing at a theater near you, and the tickets are free (or inexpensive). Now all you have to do is dip into your 401K to pay for that popcorn.

Holiday Shopping in Queens: 8 Great Stores for Unique Gifts for Kids

When looking for truly unique presents for my family, I skip the big chains and shop locally at some of my favorite independent stores. Lucky for me, many of my go-to gift spots are located right in my home borough of Queens.

Over the past few years, lots of cool, locally owned Queens boutiques have been opening up or expanding. These are the kind of places where you can pick up interesting (and often eco-friendly) toys, clothes, books, gear and other items for children and sometimes adults, too. If you don't have time to stop in, most of these stores have websites so you can buy online while still supporting a community business.

4 Freaky & Fun Zombie Experiences for NYC Tweens & Teens

We spend a lot of time writing about Halloween fun for little kids like costume parades and tame seasonal fetes. But what happens when your tween outgrows those kinds of all-ages celebrations? A lot of eye-rolling, that's what. As the mom of a nine-year-old desperate to grow up, I know that firsthand. But I also know he's not quite ready for full-on adult Halloween events like those super-freaky haunted houses.

Take for instance the monster of the moment: zombies. He's very into the walking dead but I won't let him watch The Walking Dead. (Especially not this season—yikes!) However, we have been able to enjoy a few freaky but not mega-frightening zombie experiences as a family. These interactive events like zombie laser tag and a zombie escape are way too intense for tots but thrilling for tweens and teens, not to mention adults. So if you're tired of hearing the "this is for babies!" complaint, take your angsty adolescent to one of these zombie-themed events.

Free Outdoor Summer Music Festivals & Concerts in NYC: Best Bets for Families

Although some New York City outdoor music and performance series are created specifically with children in mind, there are lots of grown-up ones that families can enjoy, too. At these wonderful alfresco events—most of which take place in parks and plazas—families can pack a picnic, stake out a spot, lay down a blanket and soak up some culture at no cost. Don't worry if the kids aren't totally into it; sit along the perimeter and let them run around, dance and play and they'll be happy.

While many series including SummerStage, Celebrate Brooklyn! and Lincoln Center Out of Doors host dedicated family days, it's worth browsing their full schedules. There's no minimum age to enjoy jazz, classical or rock, right?

We've rounded up NYC's best FREE outdoor music and performance series and highlighted the events we think will be of particular interest to families. You can find even more family fun in our jam-packed Summer Guide.

Free Kayaking with NYC Kids: Places to Kayak and Tips for Families

We may live in a concrete jungle but there are still plenty of great ways to connect with nature in New York City. And with the renewed interest in waterfront access in NYC, it's easier than ever to get out on the water to row, canoe and kayak during the summer months.

As part of our ongoing commitment to highlighting interesting nature outings for families in NYC, Mommy Poppins is proud to launch a series of guest posts by the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Kids Outdoors New York City. Kids Outdoors is a FREE online community for families filled with ideas on outdoor activities in the NYC area and expert advice on how to get started. Our first post is by Cheryl and William de Jong-Lambert, Outdoors with Kids New York City authors and local parents. They took their children, ages 7 and 10, kayaking in NYC for the first time and shared their experience and important tips for families. They've got the scoop on the best places to go kayaking with kids for FREE in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

NYC Play Spaces with Sibling Discounts

While there are plenty of great drop-in indoor play spaces in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, as a mother of two young girls under age 5, the deciding factor for me is always financial. Can I afford to take both of them without hocking my wedding ring? If the answer is no then I have to move on, regardless of how fabulous the indoor playground is or how stir crazy my kids are.

In an attempt to save money this winter, I decided to look into whether any play spaces offered discounts for siblings or (even better) charged a flat fee per family. Turns out my research paid off: I found 10 indoor romping spots in New York City that fit the bill (make that reduced the bill). So skip the pawn shop: Here are drop-in play spaces with deals for siblings.

Best NYC Kids' Concerts for Fall 2013: 12 Live Rockin' Music Shows

So far this month, we've told you about the best museum exhibits for kids and family theater shows debuting this autumn. Now we wrap up our fall culture preview with a roundup of the top 12 kindie rock concerts to catch this season.

Sadly, due to the closing of 92YTribeca last summer, one of our favorite family music series, Bring Your Own Kids, is no more. But don't start singing the blues yet: There are still plenty of cool kids' groups playing NYC this fall, including Grammy nominee Justin Roberts, history-loving crooner Lloyd Miller of the Deedle Deedle Dees and bouncy bilingual band Moona Luna. Bonus: Most of the shows are inexpensive or FREE. In fact eight of our picks don't cost a penny. So put on your dancing shoes and shake your booty at a dozen super-fun family concerts this fall.

Enriching After-school Classes for NYC Kids

NYC kids have it good when it comes to enriching after-school programs. The choices for hands-on learning fun are seemingly endless. Our Classes Guide is packed with posts about sports like basketball and tennis, performing arts such as musical theater and dance, language immersion for Spanish and Chinese, and even offbeat offerings like trapeze and archery. And every year we hear about fresh specialty programs.

Last year our new classes post featured many places that had just opened. This year is a little different as tried-and-true favorites like the 92nd Street Y, the Art Farm in the City and Long Island City Kids add new and notable offerings to their schedules. We've leafed through the catalogs and picked out the most exciting new kids' classes debuting this fall. Be sure to browse our Classes Guide for even more options.

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