New York City

A Night Out at Amateur Night at the Apollo

Before there was American Idol there was Amateur Night at the Apollo, right here in NYC. So instead of watching Simon Cowell in the judge's seat on TV, all you need is $20 and a ride on the A train to become a judge yourself at Harlem's historic talent competition on 125th Street.

Amateur Night at the Apollo is a highly entertaining show that's actually pretty kid-friendly if you want to plan a family night out, or it's also a fun choice for a kid-free parents night out with friends. Every Wednesday night at 7:30 the Apollo theater becomes a showcase for wanna-be stars. Singers, dancers, comedians, poets and more put on their best acts and the audience decides who the winner is by applauding for their favorites and booing the others off the stage.

socialsklz:-) They're Not Your Mother's Manners Classes

Are manners important nowadays? Are thank you notes ridiculously old-fashioned in the age of email? What social skills do we need to teach our children in order for them to be successful in life? These are some questions worth reflecting on for a moment. Our culture is so much more casual than it once was that formal manners seem hopelessly anachronistic, but that doesn't mean they should be tossed aside. Giving our kids strong social skills can help them make a powerful impression in their future work and social lives.

Fun Runs, Field Days and Races for Kids and Families with the New York Road Runners Club

As parents we're often running after our kids, but how about running with them? It's great to get outside and exercise together as a family and one fun way to do that is to sign up for an upcoming race or free field day with the New York Road Runners. No experience is necessary, anyone can do it, and the group has several events on its spring calendar for adults and kids, including a free field day event.
 

Photos of the New Pier 1 Playground at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Recently I took the opportunity of a brief (albeit cold) respite from the seemingly endless rain to stroll down the hill from Brooklyn Heights and check out the new Brooklyn Bridge Park. Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park officially opened in March on the same pier that housed the “pop-up” park last summer.

Read on to hear about the new playground and check out some photos for a peek of what to expect:

Down Time: Have a Living Room Camp Out

We mostly write about things to do, trying to keep you posted on all the amazing activities and events out there for kids. But sometimes it's great to just put the world on hold and do nothing, too. Not everything we do has to be elaborate; our family loves to just schedule something once a month that we can look forward to and doesn't involve anything much except being together.

We invite you to give it a try. If you do, you can log onto our facebook page and post photos of your family enjoying your time together; share the highlights and any suggestions you have from your family's experience. Why not start this week with a living room campout?

Whitney Biennial 2010: Highlights and Programs for Kids and Families

We recently took our son to The Whitney to experience The 2010 Biennial, the premiere contemporary art exhibition that sets the trends and tone in American modern art.  Not something you would expect to be kid friendly, right? Well think again.  

It is totally kid friendly, first of all, the museum is full of exciting, large scale installations, not just room after room of paintings hanging on the walls.  There is art you can walk through, around and even into, not to mention, video and film exhibits, giant sculptures and even cars in the displays!  Plus, there is a tremendous amount of programming available for families with the fantastic Whitney Museum Educators.

Don't Miss: Deedle Deedle Dees Family Variety Shows

Assuming you don’t already know the awesome NYC kids’ band, The Deedle Deedle Dees, you should, and seeing one of their new Family Variety Shows at The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg is a great way for you and your kids, small and tall, to get your dance on and learn a thing or two about American History besides.  

While seeing a regular Deedle Deedle Dees concert is always mighty fine entertainment, because these are bona fide Variety Shows, not only do you get the show’s eponymous stars but you’ll also get down with some righteous musical guest artists, lend a listen to a sparkling story, and delight in the onstage diversions of some truly talented kid-performers.

NYC Easter Parades 2010: Fancy Easter Bonnets and Greek Orthodox Celebrations

What the Village Halloween Parade is to Downtown, the Easter Fancy Hat parade is to Uptown; a chance to get dressed up and take to the streets in your quirkiest, home-made Easter bonnet. Not so much a parade, people mill about looking for the best bonnets, occasionally breaking into a waltz, swing dance or even song. It's as close as you're going to get to stepping into a classic movie.

Find out about this and other Easter Parades:

PlayDate March 23: New Brooklyn Playground, Hubble IMAX at LSC, Free Goodies, Viking Ship in Times Square, Food Revolution, More

What's happening in NYC this week for kids? There's new playground in Brooklyn, a new IMAX space show at the Liberty Science Center, a viking ship has docked in Times Square, and for parents, a revealing new TV series about the food our kids are eating. Plus it's free cone day at Ben and Jerry's and free pastries at Starbucks today only. Get the scoop!

Opening this week:

 

Viewing Tips for NYC Elephant March 2010

Staying up late and seeing the annual Ringling Brothers' elephants exit The Midtown Tunnel is a fairly exciting event for city kids--afterall it's not every day you see pachyderms parading down 34th Street in the middle of the night to herald the Spring opening of the circus. No secret there.

But we do have some tips on seeing the elephants this year:
 

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