New York City

Four Excellent Summer Outings for NYC Kids


Mommy Poppins reader, Jodi Call, like many NYC parents, is sticking close to home this summer, but that doesn't mean she's not having a blast. With Mommy Poppins, and her friend Kara, as her guides, she's been on a quest with her son, Roan, to make this summer the Best Summer of His Life. (No pressure or anything.)

Lucky for us, she's reported back, sharing four of her best days so far this summer. Read on to hear about some of the great adventures they've been having, what's worked, what she will know better next time, and where the bathrooms were along the way. [Thanks, Jodi!]

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Things to Do in Astoria and Down Under The Triborough

The incredible popularity of DUMBO has created this new love for New Yorkers and that is hanging out in the magical and somewhat creepy space that is created under our massive bridges. If you are one of these LOSUBs (lovers of spaces under bridges), and getting tired of loitering under the various Brooklyn crossings, I have a new one for you that won't disappoint - the Triborough. Head to this neighborhood of Queens for a great day of water fun, ethnic eats, a kid-friendly beer garden, and maybe even a fun Museum stop.

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:

The Best Grown-Up Outdoor Music Festivals for Families

The great thing about New York City's outdoor festivals is that everyone can enjoy them. If it's kids music, at least the grown ups can enjoy being outdoors on a lovely day or evening, relaxing. And, generally kids will put up with an outdoor concert or performance if they can run around, dance, play and picnic while you enjoy a little grown up entertainment for once.

The following (mostly) free outdoor festivals are not specifically children's festivals, but they, for the most part, each have at least one kids performance and otherwise offer great performances in great outdoor environments around NYC, making a fun day or evening out with the kids either way.

Memorial Day Weekend Activites and Events for Kids


I can't believe it's Memorial Day Weekend already...and I'm cold! But here it is and it's bringing the good weather with it. Memorial Day Weekend marks the openings of the city beaches and swimming pools. Also Victorian Garden's Manhattan's own amusement park. And this week is Fleet Week. Get ready for summer with our lists of top family beaches, swimming pools and amusement parks. Whether you are staying in the city or heading for the hills it looks like this Memorial Day Weekend really will be a great kick-off into the summer season.

The big fireworks display Thursday night was just the beginning of the celebrations for the 125th Anniversary of Brooklyn Bridge. This weekend is filled with fun family events starting tonight, plus a bunch of other interesting cultural events. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!


The British International School of NY Summer Camp

The British International School of NY is proud to offer a day camp program for children ages 3 to 7 during the summer of 2009!

BIS-NY Summer Camp is committed to offering your child a stimulating environment while encouraging cultural, social, and physical growth. The camp day will be packed with fun activities such as private swim instruction, arts and crafts, outdoor sports games, Dazzling Discoveries science projects, weekly field trips, and more!

Field trips include The NYC Children's Museum, the NYC Aquarium, Queens County Farm Museum, and the Museum of Natural History!

You have the option to sign up your child for any or all of the six weeks in our program! We offer a flexible camp schedule to meet your needs while providing your children with memories that will last a lifetime. Our entire staff is certified in First Aid and CPR to ensure the safest environment possible for your child. Group leaders are teachers employed at our school and are extremely familiar with both our facility and educating young children. The counselor to camper ratio is kept to a high standard to guarantee adequate supervision.

The half day program is offered from 9:00a.m. - 12:00p.m. and the full day program is offered from 9:00a.m. - 3:00p.m. If interested, please contact our Camp Director, Kristin Enslein, at 212-481-2700 or

For mroe great camp ideas, check out our Summer Camp Guide!

Little Spirits Summer Enrichment

At Little Spirits, summer is a celebration of childhood! A time to learn new skills and perfect old ones, a time to grow and make new friends, and most of all, a time to have fun!
Come see our 5,000-square foot facility/ fun center, featuring rooms for art, music, movement, science, cooking, resting, and more, plus a wonderland gym complete with rock climbing wall, ball pit, trampoline and space, space, space. Nurturing credentialed professionals inspire children to have the time of their lives as they grow socially, emotionally, creatively, and intellectually.

The program is half-day, from 9am-1pm Register for 1-10 weeks! We recommend that multiple weeks be consecutive. Discounts available for multiple week registration. Sibling discounts available. Inquire about discounts on summer session classes to extend your child's day!

Visit our website at or contact us at or (212) 576-1018. Little Spirits 10 East 38th Street, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10016 (212) 576-1018

And for more great camp ideas, check out our Summer Camp Guide

Kids Empowerment Academy

"The art of communication is the language of leadership." James Humes

"This Program is amazing! My child grew so confident"! Dr. Pranov
From SHYNESS to CONFIDENCE! We open your child's path to confident self-expression!

Fun Public Speaking and Confidence Building Camps! At Kids Empowerment Academy, our mission is to inspire each one of our students to develop their own confident speaking voice. We believe that children should have their thoughts heard, acknowledged, and empowered. We specialize in providing public speaking and communication skills in a fun learning environment. Our classes inspire creativity and self-expression in our students. Our students learn the importance of: Eye Contact, Vocal Projection, Idea Development, Confident Speech Delivery, and much much more.

Enroll Now! Enroll one child, and the second child's enrollment is 20% off!

Telephone: 646-530-8792 ext 1
Summer Camps Run: July 7th- August 22nd
Camp Info: Week Long Camps 2 hours a day Ages 6-13

And for more great camp ideas, check out our Summer Camp Guide


Empire United Fencing

Empire United emphasizes an integrative, group approach to its training system. Students in all of the offered programs benefit from the insight and attention of our entire coaching staff. Empire United's cohesive approach translates into an enriched, structured training environment conducive to the growth of both our fencer's skill and overall enjoyment of the sport.

Unique to our approach is the prioritization of physical, mental, and body awareness skills that promote lifelong discovery. Students are challenged in ways that not only increase their flexibility and coordination, but also their ability to problem solves and overcome adversity.

The coaches and staff at Empire United Fencing are Olympic caliber, having been represented in the eternal games for the past twelve years: Atlanta, Sydney and Athens and have a combined 60 years of coaching expertise.

Fencing Day Camps

Fencing is unique in its capacity to engage and challenge a child. The sport encourages a union between physical and mental development. Students are challenged in ways that not only increase their flexibility and coordination, but also their ability to problem solve and overcome adversity. No two fencing bouts are ever the same. The fencing day camps at Empire United are designed to introduce fencing through activities and games aimed at the development of coordination, flexibility, and focus. Participants will experience the Empire United approach to fitness, coordination, and tactics.


9am-4pm (Late pick-up or early drop off available for an additional fee)

For more information, visit

And for more great camp ideas, check out our Summer Camp Guide


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