New York City

The High Line: How to Foil the Hipsters and Enjoy NYC's Hottest Park With Kids

Check out our latest post about the High Line with info on all three sections. The High Line has been hyped far and wide as one of NYC's hippest new parks, but is it actually a good destination to hit with kids?  There are no swings, no playgrounds, no grassy fields. No dogs or skates, scooters, trikes, bikes or balls are allowed. It's not really a park at all, more of a promenade. A promenade up a few flights of stairs, no less. Not to mention that one of the things it's become most famous for is being a great viewing location for watching guests of the Standard Hotel with a yen for x-rated exhibitionism.

But despite all those nos (and no-nos), there are some redeeming qualities for the High Line from a kids-eye view. While the High Line might not actually have anything to "do", you can make your own fun there with a little bit of creativity and preparation.

Cool Culture: Dead or Alive Show at the Museum of Arts and Design

I knew this was going to be a cool show before we checked it out in person, but we were truly unprepared for the total awesomeness of the entire exhibit which has a WOW factor that’s off the charts.  The basic premise of the show is about taking recycled “dead” plant and animal matter and making it newly “alive” as art.  Take, for instance, Billie Grace Lynn’s freakin’ fantastic working “Mad Cow Motorcycle” made up of the bones of an entire cow. Then there’s Fabian Pena’s anatomical art that’s pretty swell in and of itself but will knock your socks off when closer inspection reveals it’s entirely fabricated from cockroach wings. And talking about the eeeewwww factor, you’ve got Alastair Mackie’s fabric woven from mouse fur recovered from owl poop.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Read on to get the goods on this exciting exhibition.

Kid Shows: Story Pirates Act Out Stories Kids Write Themselves

It's no secret that pirates are fond of dapper duds—frilly shirts, satin sashes, gold hoop earrings. And when it comes to playing dress up, the Striking Viking Story Pirates have the best stash in town. Rastafarian headdress, smoking jackets, leopard loin cloths and more are tucked away backstage, making each show feel like a great big game of pretend all hopped up on apple juice and pixie sticks.

Baby Boutiques in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

[UPDATED: December 1, 2012]

When you think of Williamsburg you may think more about hipsters and hangouts than babies and binkies, but it may be time to rename this hood babyburg, cause it has sprouted some of Brooklyn's best baby and toddler stores all within a few blocks of each other, giving Park Slope a run for its money.

Read on for the scoop on these baby boutiques and some exclusive discounts just for Mommy Poppins readers.

Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters show at Japan Society

If your cubs crave comic books or are aficionados of Japanese animé, you’ll definitely want to head on over to the incredibly cool Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters show at Japan Society.  What you get to see is the amazing artwork that inspired modern-day animé, the likes of Mothra and Godzilla, and much of what we recognize as classic comic book graphic style, as well as popular tattoo art and manga.  All the bold, colorful works are by one incredible artist, Utagawa Kuniyoshi. One more thing. He lived from 1797-1861. (Totally true.)  Read on to find out more about this fantastic show  with tips on how best to view it.

Kid Shows: Theater For Children and Families in New York City Spring 2010

No matter what age they are, kids really have good theater in this town. New York City is uniquely set up to provide top quality children’s entertainment, thanks to its host of actors, musicians, puppeteers and storytellers happy to perform for the little ones. Better yet, these productions are created to specifically engage a young child and many of the shows are interactive, usually about an hour in length and generally affordable.

The season is starting to wind down so if you haven’t taken your child to a theater performance yet this year – now is a good time to do it – there are plenty of great shows this spring - even some that are brand new.

Below is a pretty comprehensive list of what is playing around town for in the next few months, sorted by borough.  You will be able to find this list and all our cool kid culture finds in our Culture Guide.

Playdate 5/3/2010: I'm Speaking at Prenatal 101, New East River State Park Playground, Postcard Project

Photo of the Week: My daughter walked on stilts at the Tribeca Family Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival's annual street fair, handing out cards for her tumbling class. The Family Festival was better than ever this year, spidering out onto several adjacent blocks because there were so many different activities and booths. The ESPN zone was particularly a big hit with the kids as well as mini-golf, imagination playground, hair spraying, and a free screening of the film Snowmen. While the fair was unbearably crowded right in mid-day having he activities on the side streets helped bring some relief.

Kid Show: Stanley's Party at Manhattan Children's Theater

Sit. Stay. Don't jump on the couch. There are an awful lot of commandments that apply to your dog and your kid. That's the beauty of Stanley's Party, the latest production at Manhattan Children's Theater. The musical, based on the Stanley book series by Linda Bailey, features the title pooch wrestling with house rules, but it could just as easily be your pre-schooler. Stanley wants to be a good boy, but when his people leave home for a few hours he just can't resist squeezing under the fence. After rounding up his friends, the dog pack take off for adventure that concludes with a house party Stanley's owners won't soon forget.

Wildflower Week in NYC - May 1 - 9, 2010

Because I live in the concrete jungle, or perhaps in spite of it, I am crazy about getting my son involved in nature activities and events in the five boroughs.  I don’t want him to think he lives in a place devoid of nature - because it just isn’t true. Here in New York City we have many diverse natural environments and thankfully we have lots of groups full of passionate people dedicated to preserving them.  One of these groups is the Torrey Botanic Society, who is sponsoring Wildflower Week in New York City.  A week of educational program all around the city devoted to exploring and hopefully conserving the plants indigenous to New York City.

Saturday is the kick off and there are a lot of really cool and interesting things scheduled for adults, kids and families.  Here are some highlights of  NYC Wildflower Week 2010:

Kindiefest 2010: Brooklyn's Family Music Festival

There's no reason kids should get left out of the all-day music festival scene. Kindiefest is a three day festival of kids music. The first two days are industry only (talks, panels, and showcases around today's family music market), but the third day is a huge public family music festival with tickets just $15 for all six shows.


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