Mid-Island

Staten Island Zoo

It’s true that the Staten Island Zoo isn’t the most extravagant and is the Bronx Zoo’s smaller cousin, but its still has a whole lot to offer and is a great place for kids to really hang out with animals.

In 2007, a newly renovated Reptile Wing opened with an extensive collection of reptiles and amphibians, and a “Fear Zone” that teaches visitors the truth, and talks about the myths behind venomous creatures. It really is a lot of fun and teaches kids respect for these animals, instead of fear.

Staten Island Parks

Staten Island, though perhaps infamously known for the dump (which is currently being turned into a mega-park), is actually the “greenest borough.” Since Central Park is a bit of trek for locals, they can be found riding bikes, feeding the ducks and rowing boats in one of many of the island’s green playgrounds. Here’s a look at some that are definitely worth the free ferry ride over.

St Patrick's Day Parade, Events and Activities for NYC Kids 2009

Even though the St Patrick's Day Parade is NYC's biggest and most popular parade, it's never appealed to me much. Maybe it was the years of working in Mid-Town and seeing the streets littered with plastic beer cups at lunchtime that turned me off. Or the blaring bag pipes and drunken college students might have soured me on it as a kid-friendly event.

But St Patrick's Day is still a great excuse to celebrate Irish culture with some cool events and activities where kids can earn Irish dance steps and music, learn the Irish mother tongue and hunt for leprechauns. Check out some cool St Patrick's Day events and learn about an alternative St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Kids Swimming Lessons in New York City

So, you’ve decided it’s time for the kids to venture off land and into the pool. After taking a look at our post on how to choose the right swimming lessons for your child, you might be wondering where to go and what this adventure is going to cost. Luckily, as with most things here in the city that never sleeps, there are swim lessons that can fit into any budget (including free) and swimming classes for kids at every level. Read on to find out all the options for kids swimming classes in New York City from Mommy and Me swimming lessons to group and private swim instruction.  

Get Ready for Summer with Free Swimming Events


Summer is just around the corner and summer means swimming. In preparation of summer and swimming season get your feet wet at these free swimming events.

The Big Swim
April 12, 2008
The Big Swim is a one-of-a-kind open swim meet where 1,000 New York City children ages 6-16 participate in a free day of competitive swim races. Each child experiences the excitement of a real race with starting blocks, officials, and a timed finish. Races are all supervised by lifeguards and swimming Asphalt Green aquatics staff. This event has been recommended to me by other parents who said that your child does not need to be an very strong swimmer to have a great time. The environment is not competitive and each child goes home a winner with a medal, a photo with Olympians, a t-shirt, and a goody bag.

The Big Swim takes place on April 12, 2008, but registration forms must be received by March 30th. For more information on the meet, call 800.NYC.SWIM (800.692.7946) or go to the website to register online.

Asphalt Green's The Big Swim
555 East 90th Street
New York, NY 10128

YMCA Splash Week
April 21-25, 2008
The YMCA of Greater New York is hosting a week of free swimming lesson during their Splash Week to promote water safety for kids and families. During Splash Week local YMCA branches will be offering free half-hour swimming lessons to anyone aged 3 and up. Yes, there will even be free adult swimming classes as well as lifeguarding classes for anyone who's dreaming of getting a job as a lifeguard this summer. You won't find any information about Splash Week online. You must visit or call your local YMCA branch to find out the schedule of classes, but if you don't know where the nearest YMCA branch is you can find it at the YMCA website. Participating branches can be found in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island.

If you're looking for swimming classes for read our swimming classes post. It includes mommy and me swimming classes and classes for older children as well.

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