New York City

Kids Swimming Lessons in New York City

So, you’ve decided it’s time for the kids to venture off land and into the pool. After taking a look at our post on how to choose the right swimming lessons for your child, you might be wondering where to go and what this adventure is going to cost. Luckily, as with most things here in the city that never sleeps, there are swim lessons that can fit into any budget (including free) and swimming classes for kids at every level. Read on to find out all the options for kids swimming classes in New York City from Mommy and Me swimming lessons to group and private swim instruction.  

5 Free Fun Indoor Activities for Kids in New York City

Last month I wrote about play spaces where you can drop in and pay for play, but how about places where you can drop in and not pay? There are still some great places that welcome you to play for free and we've rounded up 5 good ones below. Of course, you should also check out our list of free times at NYC museums so you don't miss out on things like pay what you wish Thursdays at the Children's Museum of the Arts.

Where to play for free indoors with NYC kids:

How to Choose and Use a Baby Carrier in New York City

babywearing.gifAurea emailed me with a question about where to find help with baby wearing lessons. There is no way to underestimate the importance of finding the right carrier for you and your baby. You are going to be holding your infant (and toddler) a lot more than you might have ever guessed pre-pregnancy. The wrong carrier can be anything from annoying to down-right painful—and you want to enjoy have baby close to you, not find it a pain.

Choosing the right carrier for mom and dad (who may need his own if he is not the same size) is really important and worth investing a little time, thought and consideration into. You will need to consider the style of carrier (wrap, sling, bjorn, pack) that you are comfortable using and wearing as well as sizing, comfort and perhaps fashion.

There are a couple different routes to go when looking for help choosing and learning how to use your baby carrier. I've rounded up some good choices here:

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10 More Free Story Times for Indoor Fun

Sometimes a story time is just the right amount of activity for us when we don't want to commit to a whole involved outing, but we want something to do out of the house. Plus, they are relatively restful and easy for the exhausted grown-ups. We've written about the story times at Barnes & Noble and the New York Public Library, plus some others, but if you're bored of your same old, same old, here are some interesting new-to-you storytimes to check out, many of them in fun places that you'll be able to stretch your story hour into a full day of fun:  

New Building Brainstorm Exhibit at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum

The totally redone Brooklyn Children's Museum is still new enough that we hadn't yet exhausted the current exhibits, but they're staying one step ahead of us by adding a great new exhibit that we really enjoyed, Building Brainstorm. I have always been interested in the fields of architecture and design, and thought this would be a great opportunity to expose my boys to those interests during play.

Located on the second floor, this bi-lingual (Spanish and English—love that!) exhibition continues with the interactive theme found throughout the museum, encouraging and inviting children of all ages to plan, build, and design, with rough materials and soft cloths, plastics and wood. The exhibit is made up of a series of challenges: Shape Search Challenge, Shapes in Building Challenge, Inside Shapes Challenge, Window House Challenge, Floor Plan Challenge, Room Design Challenge, and Brainstorm Challenge.

Cleanest Indoor Play Spaces in New York City

200902161730.jpgDo you check back on posts to read the comments? Sometimes readers add great information there, or ask great questions. Some of my favorites lately were Margaret who asked other readers if they wanted to get a group together for a kids knitting class. Sharon, left a great comment with more ideas of places to eat on the Lower East Side on the Candy Store Itinerary post. Another commenter on our Drop In Play Spaces post asked for recommendations for the cleanest play spaces.

Good question. It seems to be a trade off. Places that don't charge hefty membership fees and are open to the public maybe aren't always quite as pristine. But I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule. Here are some of the indoor play places I've found to be really clean:

Itinerary: Best Candy Stores in New York City for Kids

Picture 60.pngWant a fun outing that your kids will REALLY love? How about a tour of some of the best candy stores in New York City? The Lower East Side is chock full of unique and fun candy stores and you can hit them all in one day for a super treat on Valentines Day or any day you want to be the bestest parent EVER! Find your inner child, turn off that parenting voice and have fun going crazy for candy with your kids, if only for one day.

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.

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