New York City

Cool Idea: Free Figure Skating Show at Flushing Meadow Park

My daughter has been giving me a lot of strange looks lately but none stranger than when I told her we were going to see an ice show in the middle of August. All summer the Ice Theatre of New York has been giving free youth performances at the World Ice Arena in Flushing Meadow Park. The show includes a talented line-up of figure skating up and comers and is geared toward giving children an opportunity to see the arts. The shows music and performances were spectacularly entertaining for kids and adults. Our personal favorite was a duet done to Johnny Cash’s “ I’m An Everywhere Man” which includes some western skating and a cowboy hat. The season finale show is going on next Saturday August 29th and will begin at 7pm. This is a fantastically cool event and is not to be missed. It is totally free and the kids will have a blast doing something out of the ordinary.

Family-Friendly Concert Subscriptions: Sign Up for the Best Music for Kids in New York City

[UPDATED: September 6, 2012]

There's so much great music in this city, from down in the subway to on stage at Carnegie Hall. But when the free outdoor concerts come to an end, your musical interests can start to get a little pricey. That's why it is often worth checking out the subscriptions to various venues. Not only do subscriptions cost less (per concert), they give you access to the best seats in the house and make you eligible for other special offerings and discounts. Many subscriptions start in September, while others don't pick up until November, so be sure to check these out soon, so you aren't late or tickets sold out.

2012-2013 season subscription information for family-friendly and kid-friendly concerts:

Midsummer Night's What? - Free Outdoor Shakespeare in Queens

One request I hear frequently is for more stuff about things to do with kids in Queens. Every time I hear it I think, "Yeah, I want that too!" Luckily, I discovered Leni and her great blog, Queens Mamas. Leni has agreed to keep us up to date on all things Queens starting today with some free Shakespeare performances in Queens parks. Thanks, Leni!

The Best Places to Go Stargazing in New York City

On any given night, it can be hard to find a visible star, let alone a constellation, here in the City. With all of the ambient light, you might think it's near impossible to do any star gazing at all. But even with the neon signs and lights, there are amateur astronomy clubs that gather weekly and find wonders in the nighttime skies, not to mention the university observatories that are open to the public.

Red Hook: Beyond Fairway and Ikea for Fun, Food Vendors and More

We've been having a great time hanging out in Red Hook, Brooklyn lately. The neighborhood has become quite the destination what with Ikea, Fairway, a new pier park and beach, lots of yummy food, and, of course, the free Ikea Water Taxi and buses make it even easier to get there.

Whether you are anchoring your trip to Red Hook around a pragmatic trip to Fairway for groceries or Ikea for household goods, or just heading to the neighborhood for fun, there's tons to do that's fun for kids and parents alike. Here are the top spots in Red Hook for family fun:

Things to do with kids in Red Hook, Brooklyn:

RoboFun: Robot-Making and Computer Camps and Classes for Little Smarties

Some kids love summer because it means day camp and sports and running around all day. But for other kids, even the thought of that makes them break out into a cold sweat, which in turn makes parents panic about what to do with kids all summer when they are not "typical" camp kids.

I happen to have a boy who is completely disinterested in a regular day camp and I can only imagine the torture (for both of us) that would follow if I signed him up for such a program. Instead we tried RoboFun, which offers after-school classes, summer camps and school break camps that teach kids robotics, animation and video game design.

Weekend Events for NYC Kids July 31 - Aug 2: Free Plays, Movies, Dance Festivals, Animal Discoveries, Storytellings and More

Is it August already? We may say this every year, but this year it really feels like the summer is just passing us by. If you haven't already, start (or continue!) taking advantage of all the free, fun and only-in-NYC unique activities that are going on in all of the five boroughs, every day. And with a free performance of Willy Wonka, African and Caribbean dance, an evolutionary adventure and animal discoveries, this weekend is as good as any to get out there and start exploring.

Five Summer Art Adventures for Kids in New York City

New York City is full of art, sure, but taking kids to an art museum can either be totally cool or a total nightmare. I wanted to know what's going on this summer in the art scene that my kids will enjoy and not turn into a whine-fest. Who better to ask than Natasha Schlesinger. Natasha is the founder of ArtKids, classes that take children into NYC museums and galleries and makes looking at art fun, exciting and acccessible for kids ages 3 to 12.

Here are five recommendations for cool art outings in New York City this summer from the founder of ArtKids, Natasha Schlesinger.

Hang Out with Your Kid's Favorite Entertainers at Little Airplane Cafe

There's a great new little venue for kids concerts and other children's entertainment in Lower Manhattan. Little Airplane Cafe isn't actually a cafe at all. It's the production studio of the animation company that makes children's television favorites like The Wonder Pets. For the past year Little Airplane Productions has been giving NYC families in the know free tours of their studio so kids can see what goes into making Lenny, Tuck and Ming Ming come to life.

Now Little Airplane has opened a small performance space with some great shows. The space is incredibly intimate. Seeing Laurie Berkner in the space's inaugural performance feels like hanging out with your favorite kids artists in their living room with a back-stage pass for everyone. Everyone sits on the floor and the space was a little bit overfilled, but the kids could not have been more thrilled. After the show there was a radio interview where Laurie answered kids' questions and then she hung out and said hi to everyone who hung around. Kids got their pictures taken and lots of hugs were shared.

Sony Wonder Technology Lab

We recently visited the newly renovated Sony Wonder Technology Lab and by the end of the visit this great venue had shot up to the top of our list of must visit spots for kids in New York City. The Sony Wonder Technology Lab has always been a great find, with free movie screenings and a fun children's museum with interactive exhibits. But the new renovation and exhibits leap-frog the Sony Wonder Technology Lab to the forefront of NYC children's museums for kids.

New York is full of great children's museums, but the Sony Wonder Technology Lab does one thing really, really well that none of the other children's museums in New York City currently do: it teaches kids about the stuff they want to learn about most, technology.

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