New York City

TADA!: Youth Theater Kids Really Get In To

200902041045.jpgConfession #1: Children’s shows typically bore me to tears. Yes, even my own children’s school productions. Get them up, get them on, then get me out. Add my children’s short attention spans and tendency to sigh and squirm excessively throughout performances and you get the picture of our typical family theater outing. So it was with great trepidation that I ventured to TADA Youth Theater with my five- and three-yr old daughters for a child-actor only production, “Golly Gee Whiz!”. Much to my surprise, not only did the show command the undivided attention of every child in the audience, but (confession #2) all of us, repeat ALL of us, thoroughly enjoyed the show.

(Keep reading for a special offer from TADA!)

Things to do on Winter Vacation: Five Winter Break Camps

200902012204.jpgGot a note from Emmanuel who wanted to know about Winter Vacation Camps so we rounded up some cool ones. There are vacation camps for every kid from preschoolers to teenagers with lots of variety; science camps, arts camps, sports camps, even a week-long skiing and sleep away camp in the Berkshires. Cool.

Valentines Day Ideas: Parents’ Night Out Drop Off Childcare

Picture 50.pngTrying to save a few bucks by skipping out on a baby sitter doesn’t mean you have to be cooped up every Friday night, dreaming of sassy restaurants with plush furniture. Many places in New York City offer drop-off times, especially around Valentine’s Day, that allow you and your date to have some play time while the little guys are having a good (and safe ) time, too. Plus, drop-off services won’t leave your wallet as empty as that baby sitter of yours, you don't need to worry about paying for the car service home, and your kids will have so much fun they'll think it was their party night, not yours.

In honor of Cupid, skip the Netflix and try one of these happenin’ spots for a night on the town that’s fun for you and the kids. We've listed the Valentines Day event, but most of these places do a Parents' Night Out Event regularly, so check them out for now, or for later.

Free Moey Music Concerts and Classes for Toddlers and Preschoolers

retouch-pompoms.jpgSome people think life is just one big party. If you are one of these un-serious people who's always looking to have "fun" and likes to be "cheerful" and "happy" then perhaps you would also enjoy going to a cheerful, happy party that was "free." Thanks to Moey, the New York City musician who is perhaps responsible for more cheerful happy, partiness than any self-respecting grown-up should be, there's going to be lots of free cheerful happy partying going around in New York this month. So grab your toddlers and preschoolers and go, but be sure to talk sternly to them afterward so they don't get the wrong idea about life.

Moey's going to be partying at these New York Public Library Branches:

3 More Cool Art Exhibits for Kids in New York City to See Now

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Alexander Calder exhibit at the Whitney, But there are a couple of other grown up art exhibits going on that are interesting for kids too. Installations that will puzzle and charm, let kids physically interact with the work and art works that are made from everyday objects that children will recognize, bring art to life for kids, engaging their imaginations, inspiring their creativity and remind you why you're in New York again. Check out these exhibits at MoMA, P.S. 1 and The Museum of Art and Design.

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Camp Fair for Children with Special Needs

[UPDATED: July 18, 2012]

Figuring out the right summer camp for your kid can be puzzling, but if you have a child with special needs, the issue becomes even more complicated. Special needs children benefit from the experiences of camps, just like any other children, but what can your child handle? What can the camps handle? What is available and what's right for your kid?

Luckily, Resources for Children with Special Needs has a camp fair just for families of special needs children. Whether your child is autistic, learning or physically disabled, the Special Camp Fair provides information and resources to help parents find the right camp for their child or teenager. This is a great way to find out about the many programs that are available and things your child can do that maybe you never thought they would be able to.

Real Art for Kids: Calder's Circus at the Whitney

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There are some great exhibits at the "real" art museums that are fun enough that you shouldn't have to drag your kids to, or through. This is the first in a series of posts about some of current art exhibits recommended for kids in New York City.  

You've probably already heard about the Calder Exhibit at the Whitney. It's been promoted a lot. People love Calder's Circus, which is a miniature reproduction of an actual circus, made from wire, cork, wood, cloth and other household objects. Calder would perform the circus for people as his "day job" and the exhibit has videos showing how he performed it, bringing it to life for kids.

One of the things that I love about the Alexander Calder story is something I learned about him on a PBS American Masters program. Apparently, when he was a child, all Calder wanted to do was play with wire. He loved to make little toys and things with scraps of wire and his mother completely indulged this. I love this story because as a parent, we all know that child who refuses to do what they are supposed to do and is obsessed with one seemingly useless endeavor. How aggravating it is to try to bend children to our will and get them to conform to the requirements of society. I love the idea that there is value in the play of children and their obsessions and that, let to flower and grow, we may all be surprised by what comes out of them.

Why kids will like Calder: The Paris Years

Mommy and Me (or Granny and Me) Knitting Lessons

mainImage.jpgHave you always wanted to learn to knit or imagined yourself being crafty and knitting for, or with, your little ones? Local yarn shops around the city often offer knitting classes for people of all ages. Usually kids can start to learn to knit or crochet as young as 5 years old, depending on the child.

Reader, Sharon, submitted this tip about a great yarn store that offers Duet Knitting Classes for an adult and child to learn to knit together:

Seaport Ice Finally Open

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Word spread fast to downtown families about the ice skating rink at the South Street Seaport finally opening up. When we went on Sunday afternoon, it was already comfortably crowded. The rink is fairly small, and the pavilion is not as nice as the one at Bryant Park, but with a predominantly downtown family crowd and no speeding teenagers, it was a great place for kids to ice skate.

Urban Glass Open House: Factory Tour NYC Style

In Pennsylvania you can go to the Crayola Factory Tour and see how crayons are made, but in Brooklyn you can tour the UrbanGlass workshop and see how local artists create beautiful objects out of glass. UrbanGlass regularly holds free open house tours that show visitors the process of creating a handblown glass object. This weekend is a Sketch and Sculpt Open House where they will select a submitted drawing and bring that object to life (The date for submissions has passed, sorry).

You can also take glassblowing workshops and classes at UrbanGlass and even bring your own recycling to turn into something new. The great thing about a glassblowing class is you can create a paperweight or a cup to take home in just one workshop.

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