New York City

Shopping at NYC's Fantastic Ethnic Markets with Your Kids

While regular grocery shopping can be a major chore with children along, checking out ethnic markets with your kids is truly great fun and packs a whollup in entertainment value. It’s always a super sensory experience tantalizing tots and teens alike with new smells (often heavenly), sights, colors and tastes too. From breathtaking beauties on dessert stands to radishes that look like trolls to ookie-gookie innards that belong in Ripley’s refrigerator and give your kiddos a bonus dose of weird anatomy, it’s all there to ogle and enjoy. Plus there is always unusual and frequently funny packaging to spice things up.  And all that tempting new food may expand a puny palate or two.  You can spend as little or as much as you wish and still have a grand ol’ time. Keep reading to find out our top picks for maximum fun at ethnic markets here in NYC!

New Educational Programs for Fall 2010 at the Central Park Zoo

Central Park's Zoo has revved up it's educational offerings for families, youth and even adults for Fall 2010. They have expanded their toddler series and created exciting new programs for families and big kids. You can make treats for the animals, enjoy some fall and winter fun, meet some of the staff at the zoo and get an inside peek at what they do and a lot more.  Plus they have a new winter zoo camp for kids.  My son has done a ton of programs at the Central Park Zoo, even a few summers of camp, and the programs here are great --organized, interesting, well thought out and fun.  They usually fill up fast but the Curator of Education assured us that there was still room in every program.  So don’t wait too long.

4 Cool Enrichment Classes for Kids in New York City: Comedy, Rugby, Weaving and Veterinarian

[UPDATED: July 12,2012]

Kids today get to do way better stuff than I ever did when I was a child.  When I was a kid, after school programs consisted of sports or scouts with maybe a piano lesson thrown in for good measure, a far cry from the opportunities available to my son.  Unique and enriching classes are abound in New York City:  rugby, veterinary school and stand up comedy are just a few of the classes available nowadays.

Some of the coolest enrichment classes for kids in NYC:

Have Your Fun and Eat It Too: 8 Great Cooking Classes for You and Your Kid

Cooking with your child is a great way to spend some quality time together. The hands-on exploration of cooking is not just a great sensory experience, but can also help to get junior interested in what he eats, and might just tempt him out of his hot dog and applesauce comfort zone into the wilds of more exotic flavors. Plus, it's fun. Family cooking activities abound this fall, and we've found some great parent-child cooking workshops and classes for you. Here are a few options.


My Awesome Day: Chelsea Galore--Cupcakes, Skateparks, Carousels and More!

We've asked our readers to share their awesome outings with us this summer. We'll be posting the best ones on the blog and one lucky winner will win a Flip Video Camera. Find out more details in our Summer Fun Activity Guide. Summer is coming to a close and so is the contest. We will accept submissions until Labor Day and then announce a winner the following week. So send in your story. We want to know about your awesome day.

Read this submission by Susan Atkinson about her fun day on Goveror's Island.

Parents Can Go Back To School at the Prospect Park Zoo and SPARKS

With back to school right around the corner now is the perfect time for The Prospect Park Zoo to once again run their SPARKS workshops, created to help make science more understandable for children.  But unlike many programs at our city’s zoos, SPARKS isn’t for kids.  This unique and interactive seminar is for adults, specifically for parents (or caregivers) of preschool and elementary aged children.  SPARKS, which stand for, Supporting Parents in Advocacy, Reform, and Knowledge in Science, works by reinforcing and expanding on what adults already understand, teaching them what they don’t and ultimately giving them the opportunity to help educate the next generation in science.  Read on to learn more about this super cool (and free) program.

Cool Off at the Warm Up: Live Music, Wading Pools and Fun for the Whole Family at MOMA's P.S.1

It’s true that art museums don’t instantly come to mind when you think of outdoor water works where kids can splash around and cool off on a steamy summer day, but PS1’s unique “Warm Up” Saturdays do just that.  Their interactive courtyard exhibit entitled Pole Dance (fear not, there’s nothing “Bada Bing” or remotely suggestive about it), offers a wading pool filled with giant pastel colored exercise balls and nets to throw them in, a refreshing sprinkler-like water mister to stand under, a sandbox the size of a swimming pool (with some fun purple climbing structures), cushy hammocks for swinging in, more balls and nets for all-around exercise, and, of course, poles which you’re supposed to shimmy up or swing on to create weird whooshing sounds. Sound like a blast?! Read on to find out more!

Toddling the Upper West Side: 10 Things to do in 10 Blocks with your Toddler in the West 80s

If you spend your days toddling around the city with a toddler, the Upper West Side is a perfect place to let them explore.  Sandwiched between two amazing parks are tons of places to enjoy with your little ones in this neighborhood that may just be as family-friendly as they come in NYC.  I’ve been touring the Upper West Side with my one-and-a-half-year old 10 fun-filled blocks at a time and sharing my recommended itineraries for parents and toddlers.  We’ve already tackled the 60s and 70s, so this time we’re toddling our way through the West 80s.   It seems everywhere you turn there is something fun for families in this corner of the city,  but these are our top 10 finds starting south and walking north.

An Awesome Day in New York City - Things to Do in Southern Central Park

I know it is lame to write about having an awesome day in Central Park but the park has been host to just so many fun filled summer days for me and my son that I find it difficult to think of anyplace else.  Like any other day I still have a plan and an itinerary, because if you don’t, the park is so huge you could wind up wandering too far in one direction or another to get home easily. Read on for the deets on one of the many awesome days in and around Central Park, and then go have one for yourself.

We're sharing our awesome days of summer with you. We hope you'll share yours with us. Send in a description of an awesome day you had (with pictures) We'll post the best ones and you could even win an awesome Flip Video Camera.


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