Upper West Side

More Free Demo Classes

This is the second in a series of posts listing free demo classes for this Fall. Find more free demo classes and exclusive discounts in our first free demo class post.

New Manhattan Movement and Arts Center Children’s Program – Meet the teachers, try out classes, and enjoy additional fun and surprises at an Open House from 9:30 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 14, at Manhattan’s newest arts center. The MMAC Children’s Program, launching September 15, offers classes ranging from Mommy & Me to art, music, dance, theater, yoga and martial arts, for ages toddler to teen. Information: (212)787-1178. 

SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR Mommy Poppins Readers - $25 off when you enroll at the Open House; use discount code “MOMMY POPPINS".

Apple Seeds- Demo reservations are taken on a first come first serve basis, check out their website to see which class fits your little one. To reserve a spot, call 212.792.7590 - note that there is a limit of 2 demos per family, per semester.

Free Demo Classes For Kids Throughout NYC

This is first in a series of posts listing free demo classes for NYC kids. Find more free demo classes and exclusive discounts in our second Free Demo Class Post.

I admit, I have a fear of Mommy and Me classes. I'm not sure how it started but every time the idea was batted around in my house I came up with a million excuses why it wouldn't work. But, now that my daughter is two and we are both sufficiently bored of the playground, I've come to realize it's time to take the plunge. Even better, I've realized that she is now old enough to take classes without me having to participate!

If you are anything like me, here is the perfect baby step - FREE demo classes. Before you shell out the money for a weekly class, why not try it out? We have compiled a super long list of FREE demo classes, most of which are held in August and September. From pottery to gymnastics to music to miming so you can see how you and your kid like the class before committing to an entire semester. Plus, a lot of these places have offered amazing discounts to Mommy Poppins readers if you do choose to sign up for the class.  Keep reading to check out our list.

Little Naturalists: Wildflowers Everywhere

Photos by Leslie Day

All summer long, New York City is filled with beautiful flowers and gorgeous scents. Mommy Poppins' resident naturalist Leslie Day has put together this guide of local wild flowers for you to look for as your explore your streets and parks and some background science so you can turn a walk in the park into a teachable moment.

Linden Tree Flowers (above)
Everywhere you go on the Upper West Side and on streets that have these lovely trees throughout the five boroughs, you smell the heavenly scent of linden tree flowers. Show your children the leafy bracts that each flower cluster is attached to. When the flowers produce seeds, these modified leaves carry the seed clusters to the ground like little helicopters. At night, when you emerge from the subway, you are greeted with this heady perfume. Follow your nose!

Free Outdoor Movies For Kids

New York City has gone nuts for outdoor movies in recent years and with good reason, there's something magical about lying back on a picnic blanket and watching your favorite movie with hundreds of other New Yorkers.

Outdoor films are also the best way for grown ups to go see kid movies because you can just enjoy being out on a nice summer evening even if you aren't that into the movie. And, depending on your kids, it can be a great way to get out to see a grown up movie without spending the college savings on a sitter, as many kids will enjoy the classic films frequently shown or will just enjoy being out at night enough to sit (or sleep) through it.  Films begin at dusk which is generally at around 8:30 and many of these series include other entertainment.

Here's a rundown of the best free outdoor movies for kids in NYC this summer:

A Week of New York City Earth Day Activities 2008

eco-camp.jpgEarth Day and NYC Public School Spring Break are in alignment this year. Coincidence? ...Yeah, probably. (shrug). So, school's out but the fun, hands-on learning is just beginning. You don't have to go to a fancy resort to have an eco-vacation. With the Mommy Poppins Do-It-Yourself Spring Break Eco Camp kids can learn, do, make and play their way to a greener, smarter world right here in New York City.

We've organized a week jam -packed with the best of Earth Week's eco-friendly fun for NYC kids of all ages. It's almost completely free, will keep you busy all week, and registration is super-easy (just ask yourself if you still have spots available!)

Saturday, April 19
South Bronx EarthFest Celebration in St. Mary??™s Park.
A recycled materials fashion show, free boat rides in the Bronx River and electronics recycling are some of the highlights among the more than 30 activities booths at the South Bronx EarthFest Celebration in St. Mary??™s Park.
Saturday, Apr 19, 2008 from 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
St. Mary??™s Park , St. Ann??™s between 146th and 148th Streets
FREE
South Bronx Earth Fest is a family celebration of the environment and of the South Bronx community. Enjoy food and entertainment, including: a "Music Gets Me Green" song contest, a recycled-materials fashion show, a musical performance by the Oscar-nominated Impact Repertory Theater, free boat rides on the Bronx River, a student dance performance, and a keynote presentation by Majora Carter of Sustainable South Bronx. Bring your old cell phones, computers, printers, fax machines, TVs, VCRs and stereos to be recycled. Donate gently used clothing for reuse. Bronx Green-Up will be among the more than 30 activities booths, which also include Bronx Community Solutions, CENYC, Butterfly Project, Solar Oven, and South Bronx Job Corps Academy.
Free admission

Habana Outpost, Fort Greene's new eco-eatery, is hosting a very cool Earth Day Expo 2008. Two Days of free workshops and events including beekeeping, recycling within your environment, composting, recycled art show and umbrella recycling. I like this event because the activities make you think differently about greening your life rather than the same old topics we hear over and over again.
Saturday, April 19th & Sunday April 20th 2008.
757 Fulton Street (corner of South Portland) Brooklyn
Kid??™s Corner-Saturday& Sunday 12-6
Check the website for the full schedule.
FREE

Go Green Go Greenpoint
Saturday, Apr 19, 2008
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
McCarren Park, behind the Field House, Lorimer Street between Bedford and Driggs Avenues
FREE
Educational programs, recycling stations, a scavenger hunt, tree planting, live music and more.

Earth Day Weekend at the Queens Zoo
Sat 19, Sun 20 11am??“4pm.
Queens Zoo, Flushing Meadows??“Corona Park, Queens.
Free with zoo admission.
Kids learn how to sort recyclables, plant seeds, design their own reusable tote, and learn about environmental projects or activities going on in your Queens neighborhood and discover ways to participate.

Sunday April 20
Ninth Annual Gowanus Canal Flotilla
Sunday April 20 11am??“3pm.
Gowanus Canal, between Second Ave and Bond St, Brooklyn
FREE
Go on an eco-cruise. Take a ride in a 21 person indian shipping canoe and pick floating trash out of the Gowanus Canal.

Join us for a fun-filled of environmental education through recreation. Paddle along this annual flotilla on the historic and notorious little estuarine waterway that flows in the heart of Brooklyn. Armed with landing nets, garbage bags, our fleet of skiffs, including our unique 32ft canoe (accommodates 21 paddlers at at a time). The Urban Divers Environmental Educators guide eco-volunteers on an eco-cruise and help pick-up floatable debris along the water and on shore...Everyone is also welcomed to bring their own kayaks or canoes or GET ON BOARD OUR FLEET OF VESSELS, including our unique GIANT 32ft INDIAN SHIPPING CANOE- vessel accommodates 21 paddlers at time. To register to volunteer call The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy at 718-802-9874, or 347-224-5828.

Earth Day Celebration in Central Park
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
FREE
Activities for all ages begin at 12:00 pm, including recycled musical instrument-making, tree tours, make and take home your own mini vegetable garden and more. Get the full schedule online.

Monday, Apr 21, 2008
NATUREMANIA
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Sherman Creek Campus (3725 10th Avenue)
SHERMAN CREEK PARK, Manhattan
FREE
Spring Break is marked by being outdoors and having fun. This year for Spring Break, come learn how to build a boat, grow plants and vegetables, plant and identify trees, explore habits and fish, and more. Also join in arts and crafts projects, story time, group games, and service projects during the spring break camp at Sherman Creek Park.

Tuesday, April 22

Earth Week at Still Hip
283 Grand Avenue Brooklyn
Cool Brooklyn resale shop, Still Hip makes it easy to be green during Earth Week. Drop your old clothes off for recycling and let the kids practice tree poses.
10-5 pm: Clothing Recycling | FREE
12 pm: Baby Wearing & Cloth Diapering Workshop | FREE*
2:30 pm: Yogi Babies Save the Trees | FREE*
3:30 pm: Tree Pose Kids Yoga FUNdraiser | FREE*

Wednesday, April 23
Earth Week at the Bronx Zoo
April 21-27
Bronx Zoo
Free with Admission
Party for the Planet at the Bronx Zoo. Visit the Human Footprint exhibit to learn the impact people are making on the Earth, see recycled animal sculptures, hear stories, make crafts and more all week. See the full schedule.

Thursday, April 24
Earth Week at the Audubon Center
April 21 ??“ 27, 12 ??“ 5 p.m. every day
Prospect Park Audubon Center
FREE
Celebrate Earth Week at the Prospect Park Audubon Center! This year??™s Earth Week will have a different theme each day, with programming for environmentalists of all ages. Learn how to do your part through lectures, tours, activities, film screenings, workshops, recyclable crafts, and a daily exhibit. Check www.prospectpark.org for a full list of what??™s going on.
Friday April 25
Still Hip
283 Grand Avenue Brooklyn
Private Picassos is offering FREE Recycled Art Workshops for kids age 2-7 at Still Hip on Friday, April 25th.
Pre-registration is requested. Email info@privatepicassos.com to reserve your spot today.
Workshops include:
Junk Printmaking Workshop
Young artists age 2-4 will use recycled materials for a relief printmaking activity. Feel free to bring any toilet paper or paper towel rolls,old dry sponges, wine corks, slightly used cardboard cup protectors and corrugated cardboard scraps. 10:00-10:45am

Recycled Robots Workshop
Young artists age 5-7 will use recycled materials to create their own robots. Feel free to bring old cereal boxes, small cardboard boxes, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, corrugated cardboard, etc. 11:00-11:45am

Saturday, April 26
Go Green Expo
Saturday, April 26th from 10 a.m. ??“ 6 p.m. and Sunday, April 27th from 10 a.m. ??“ 3 p.m.
Learn about eco-friendly alternatives available today. More than 200 booths showcasing organic food and wine, home and office products, health and beauty supplies, energy alternatives, and the latest cars and transportation. Find out more at GoGreenExpo.com
Sunday April 27
Gardening Day at the Queens Botanic Garden
Sun 27 noon??“5pm.
$5 Donation
Queens Botanical Garden, Flushing, Queens.
Learn about and celebrate the honey bee with puppet shows, storytelling, and clowns!

Stay tuned for next week when our Earth Week posts really HEAT up. An don't miss our GREAT GREEN GIVEAWAY.

Hi Lo: Anime Classes for Kids


kikisdeliveryservice.jpg

When I saw that Hi-Art was giving anime classes for $675 I thought, "wow, those must be some pretty amazing classes." But I also thought to myself in New York City I bet there are some other really cool classes for kids to learn about the Japanese cartooning style, anime, that don't cost the maintenance money. I thought it would be fun to do a feature like in the magazine (same outfit Hi or Lo). So I did a little research and found a couple of different ways to expose your kids to anime in NYC right now. Here's Japanese Anime for Kids: Hi/Lo:

HI:
HiArt Manga Madness
For the $675 you'll pay for HiArt's Manga Madness anime classes, you'll get 8 classes (starting today). Yes, that's almost $100 per class, but kids 7-14 will learn anime-style drawing techniques from acclaimed artist Yali-Lin. In addition to learning the techniques for drawing different types of characters and faces, kids will write their own stories and learn how to create panels, incorporate text, and design their page. There will be beginner and advanced sessions so kids can really hone their skills.

What you'll get: Professional level art class with a renown artist in a beautiful, light-infused chelsea loft. Lots of individual attention and intensive study.

LO:
Brooklyn Museum Anime Event
The Brooklyn Museum is kicking off their Takashi Murakami exhibit at this Saturday's Target First Saturday event. Kids and adults are encouraged to dress up as their favorite anime characters. There will also be anime activities where kids can create their own anime alter egos. Try to catch a screening of Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki's Delivery Service (if you haven't watched this with you kids it's a wonderful story. If you're not going to the event think about renting it). That's the tip of the iceberg. There will be Japanese Drumming, gallery talks and more. Saturday, April 5, 5-11pm at the Brooklyn Museum.

Check out the Brooklyn Museum site for the full schedule. All attendees will also get free admission into the museum to see Takashi Murakami exhibit and the other galleries. The exhibit will run through July 13th.

What you'll get:
Free anime workshops, free movies, free museum admission, and...crowds. Some events may be filled if you don't arrive early.

Family Day at the Asia Society
Discover the origins of anime through Japanese prints (ukiyo-e) in the "Designed for Pleasure" exhibit at the Asia Society. During this family day event children can also learn more about Japanese culture with traditional and modern Asian storytelling through pictures, puppets and performances. Free with Gallery Admission (which is free for kids under 16) Saturday, April 5, 12-3pm. at the Asia Society.  Exhibit runs through May 4.

What You'll Get: A free day of family events geared to exposing children to Japanese culture and placing anime in it's cultural and historical background.

Sign Up for AMNH Summer Camps Before They're History

 2332 2138747373 417C50B72E MWhile registration for the American Museum of Natural History's summer camps hasn't started yet, it's a good idea to keep a look out. In 2007, the camps sold out before they were even made available online.

For more information on these camps complete with hands-on investigations, behind-the-scenes tours and visits with Museum scientists, visit their site, and read on.

2009 AMNH Adventures Summer Camps will include:

Robotics Camp
Interested in a robotic expedition to Mars? Design, build, and program your own robot to explore an unknown planet! Using Lego Mindstorms robotic kits and computers, participants learn principles of robotics, computer programming, and teamwork during this exciting week.

Sampler Camp
(for first graders)
Want a taste of the AMNH Adventure Camps, but still just one year too young? Come get a taste of what hands-on learning is all about, with a day of astrophysics activities, a day of frogs, and a day of water!

Fossils and DNA
Who are we and where do we come from? Embark on an exciting journey through human evolution and learn about our ancestors, from early primates to the first hominids. Explore the brand new Spitzer Hall of Human Origins while learning how to use fossil evidence and DNA??”and have fun doing it!

Meet the Beetles
Break out your magnifying glasses and get ready to observe the natural world and its amazing creatures! From the beetles, birds, and giant tortoises Charles Darwin made famous to the local array of bugs and plants in Central Park, children will enjoy discovering and learning about science and nature during this fun-filled week.

Astrophysics Camp
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live, work, and travel in space? Could life exist on other planets? What are black holes and do they really exist? Join others who share your interest in space science and learn about the universe through hands-on activities and Museum explorations.

For more camp ideas, check out our Summer Camp Guide

Barnes and Noble Storytimes

We recently wrote about the Battery Park City as a nice place to spend a day indoors., with lots of different activities amenities. Well, here's a nice addition to this little outing: there's a big, brand new Barnes & Noble bookstore just about a block away at 270 Greenwich Street (the entrance is actually on Warren).

Mommy Poppins Readers' Top 25 Places for NYC Kids

Our Custom Made for Kids personalized children's book giveaway is over, and what a great response we got. Not only did we have lots of responses, but each commenter told us their favorite thing to do in NYC with kids. The list is filled with some wonderful gems. After the jump, our contest winner and Mommy Poppins Readers' Top 25 Things to Do with Kids in NYC.

5 Best Indoor Activities for NYC Kids

Though the weather doesn't seem like it will ever approach the lows that will force you & your brood inside. It's going to happen! Whether you have a newborn, toddler or school-aged child you're going to be faced with long hours inside this winter. After you have watched every video, played every game & read every book in the house you're going to need to venture outside or risk what I'd like to call M.G.S.C. Disorder better known as "Mommy's Going Stir Crazy".

Here are some ideas on where to go for indoor activities in New York that will be fun for parents as well as children.

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