New York City

Little Maestros is Music to Moms Ears

Sherri Margulies is a an awesome film editor who happens to be the mom of an adorable little babe in NYC and, now, is Mommy Poppins' first contributor. Her first two posts, featured today and tomorrow, are about music activities for babies in NYC. Welcome, Sherri!

 

 

Just like everyone else in Manhattan, I learned quickly that I needed to register my little one for some classes in order to get her resume going to get into a good preschool. My nanny, who rocks, thought it best to demo some music classes. Demo classes for a 6 month old, sounded crazy, but I thought she must know something I didn't, and indeed she did. After trying out Music Together and Music for Aardvarks we came across Little Maestros and she was blown away.

Read (and eat and splash) your way around the Lower East Side

Just walking around New York City can be a great experience for kids to learn about history, not just of New York, but American history as well; and there's no part of NYC more full of history and color for kids than the Lower East Side. Perhaps that's why it's been the inspiration for so many wonderful children's books. A walk around the Lower East Side brings some favorite children's books to life and, at the same time, brings the story of immigrants in America to life as well. Here's some wonderful children's books that you can read that will send you off on a great outing in the city with the kids to experience the history of immigrants in NYC first-hand while having fun, getting wet, and, most importantly, eating very well.

More Free Outdoor Movies for Kids and Families

BloggyMcBlogBlog has a theory that soon there will be so much scaffolding in Lower Manhattan that they will have to build scaffolding on top of the scaffolding and then there will be a war between the people who live below the scaffolding and those that live above it...

Likewise, I'm beginning to think that soon there will be so many outdoor movie festivals in NYC that people will no longer need televisions, we'll just watch giant projected entertainment from the comfort of our living rooms because every available surface in the city will have programming projected on it.

Not that I'm complaining. I love outdoor movies. And this new one that I discovered thanks to A Brooklyn Life is particularly good, especially for NYC families with kids.

The Red Hook Movies in the Parks series is playing a great batch of films every Thursday through August 16th and they're all kid-friendly, good movies, including Happy feet, Mad Hot Ballroom and Akeelah and the Bee.

The outdoor films are closing in...

 

Is it a pool or a beach? Either way, it's cool.

Have you heard about the brand new floating pool in Brooklyn Heights? They've docked a barge that's been retrofit with a 25 meter, 7 lane swimming pool right on the water in Brooklyn. There also a sandy beach area with pick-up volleyball and soccer games, a snack shack and umbrella rentals, which is good because when you arrive you are given a one-hour swimming slot (first come first served). After you get your time slot you can just hang on the beach until your time comes up. A little beach, a little pool.

I didn't include the new floating pool in my previous post about free pools because it hadn't opened yet and I wanted to find out more about it before I recommended it. I still haven't been to the floating pool since it opened yesterday, but at least now I can share with you some of the opinions that are circulating around.

Curbed has links to three reviews on mcbrooklyn, Brooklyn Heights Blog, and The New York Times. The overall takeaway? People are loving it and say it's the cleanest pool in NYC...and the water's really cold.

Outdoor Summer Festivals in Every Borough are Fun for the Whole Family

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 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.

Celebrate Brooklyn is considered by many to be NYC's best summer festival. Located at the Prospect Park bandshell, Celebrate Brooklyn is a great venue with a diverse range of excellent performances. You'll find music, dance, films and more. We already wrote about the child friendly outdoor movies that are part of Celebrate Brooklyn. Another great kid event at Celebrate Brooklyn will be the Dan Zanes concert on July 22; sure to be packed with toddlers, children and adults alike rocking out to the king of kid rock.

Lower Manhattan's River to River Festival has hundreds of events including dozens of children's and family events. As part of the River to River Festival you'll find children's workshops, story times, fairs, singing and dancing and more. Check out the calendar for the full list of children's events.

Everyone is familiar with Central Park's Summer Stage. Many of the Summer Stage events will be enjoyed by children, but for sure kids will love the Summer Stage Global Family Day on July 15th. Led up by Hip Hop Harry, a Kangol cap bearing big yellow bear described as Barney "if he had lived in the South Bronx in the '80s." Hmmm. Well, there will also be a marionette show of Cinderella Samba, a performance by hip kid rockers, The Sippy Cups, a performance outlining the history of break dancing, and finally, some good 'ol Brooklyn barbecue from The Smoke Joint.

The NY Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks Festival travels to all five boroughs plus Long Island and New Jersey, making classical music from the oldest philharmonic in the United States available to all for free. While there are no children performances, classical music under the stars, followed by fireworks is sure to be enjoyed by the entire family. Or it's a least a good way to sneak a little classical music into your children's repertoire.

The last festival we were planning on featuring was the NYC Fringe Festival which has a series of FringeJR events designed for families. Unfortunately, they have not published their calendar yet and haven't yet replied to our inquiries. We'll keep you posted or you can check the Fringe NYC site.

ArchiCamp: What could be more appropriate for city kids?


Country kids are to trees as NYC kids are to architecture. Maybe that's why ArchiCamp is such a cool camp idea for NYC kids.

ArchiCamp is a fun day camp where NYC kids, 9-13, travel around New York City, studying the architecture, going to museums, and doing workshops related to an architectural concept of the day. Kids gain new perspectives on the city they live in, take advantage of the unique resources all around them, learn 3D creation and get to display their work on the ArchiKids website.

Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Camp Still Has Spots

This is our first entry in a series of posts about last minute camp openings for kids in NYC. Every day for the next week, we will be posting more exceptional camps for children of all ages that still have openings. If you are interested make sure to register soon because these spots will go fast.

Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Programs (BCAP) is the only camp in the world on a campus composed of an art museum, botanic garden, children's museum, historic house, nature center, landmarked park, state-of-the-art public library, and zoo! Campers enjoy carefully crafted curriculum led by instructors at each site, often combined with behind-the-scenes access.

9 More Free Museum Programs in All 5 Boroughs

Wrapping up our week of free museum family programs, we're sending you off with some frequently overlooked museums that offer free classes for kids and toddlers. We're traveling to all five boroughs for lots of free family fun.

The Queens Museum is home to the NYC panorama and World's Fair memorabilia. They have free family drop-in art classes on Sundays and weekend scavenger hunts. Website is not updated, so check or call for summer schedule.

In addition, in July and August The Queens Museum resumes their Passport Fridays, a dance and music festival that features the culture of a different country every week. Brazil, Columbia, India, Mexico, South Africa and Tunisia will all be celebrated with live music and dancing followed by a film. Free children's art workshops are offered between 6:30 and 8PM.

MoMA's Free Family Programs Are Great for Parents, Too

The Museum of Modern Art hosts many incredible free family programs that introduce children and adults to the richly varied world of modern art through guided walks, art workshops, artist talks, film screenings, special events, activity guides and Web sites. Programs provide an approach to looking at and talking about art that enable people of all ages and all levels of experience to enjoy art together. Moms and dads will truly get as much from these fantastic art classes as children will. These are no "let's glue tissue paper to construction paper" workshops. Added bonus: these free classes include free admission to MoMA for kids and adults.

Children Blossom at Free Brooklyn Botanic Garden Programs

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden's outdoor adventure garden is designed especially for young children to explore plant life from a kid's perspective. Filled with butterflies and birds, The Discovery Garden allows children and toddlers to pump water down a bamboo waterfall to a stream, hide under a tree, and hike a nature trail, all while exploring the wonders of plant life around them. The Brooklyn Botanic Discovery Garden hosts drop-in programs throughout the week for children 3-10. The programs are free with admission (which is always free for children under 12 and $8 for adults, but if you go on a Tuesday Adults are free too.) All of their free children's programs are from 2-4 and no registration is required. In addition to their free kid programs, they offer gardening classes and camps for a fee which you can find at The Brooklyn Botanic Garden website.

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