New York City

Check out the Beautiful First Entries from The Kids of Hanami Photo Contest

The weather is going to be beautiful this weekend and what better reward than to spend a wonderful afternoon in the beautiful Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, especially now that the Cherry Blossoms are in their prime. Of course, visiting the Cherry Blossoms could lead to its own reward if you enter your photographs of your children and the cherry blossoms into our Kids of Hanami Photo Contest.

Let me spell it out for you; the reward would be a Brooklyn Botanic Garden Pass, Mother's Day Luncheon at the Gardens and a generous prize package of beautiful gifts from the BBG store.

Take a look at some of the beautiful entries we've received:

Geek Out this Weekend at Kids Comic Con and Big Lightsaber Fight

Being a Star Wars fanatic or a comic book geek is pretty cool in my book. And these cool kid-friendly events celebrate and bring out the geek in all of us. A giant black-lit lightsaber battle? What could be cooler than that? A comic book convention just for kids. Let's go!

There's nothing cooler than these geeky activities:

Take Your Kids to Tibet for the Afternoon

I've decided to homeschool my kids by traveling around the world and letting them learn through exposure to different cultures and experiences. What could be a better education than that? Our first stop on this amazing voyage will be Tibet where we will explore the Himalayas, learn traditional art-forms, get to see first-hand the creation of a Tibetan mandala, learn TIbetan calligraphy, children's games and more. It will be a most enriching experience for my kids and for myself.

Of course, leaving New York is kind of a hassle, and the kids kind of like going to school, so we'll do this homeschooling in New york City and on the weekends. Thanks to The Rubin Museum of Art's Family Day this weekend, we can travel to Tibet to experience the art and culture without having to give up our takeout or DSL.

Rubin Museum of Art Family Day: Celebrate Tibet in New York

How to get on TV in New York City

To be on TV: for some people it’s a life long dream. For a kid in New York, it’s a few hours diversion. All you have to do to grab your fifteen seconds of fame in New York is be at the right place at the right time. Sitting in a studio audience might not be kid-friendly, but you can get your mug on the morning shows just by standing outside the studios while they are filming.

Here are some of the right places and right times:

Gardening with Kids: Classes, Events, and Volunteer Opportunities in New York City

In a recent post we asked readers to leave questions for us as their entry into our giveaway. You all left lots of great questions and, while some of the answers are inexplicable (like why they haven't built a walking bridge over the Hudson River to NJ), we are going to try to go through them an answer as many of them as we can. If you have a question you'd like us to try to answer, send it to us.

kmaloy asks: Are there any gardening classes for kids outside of the NY Botanical Garden?

Good question. We actually wrote about gardening classes almost exactly one year ago, so it's high time to update it. Of course, the New York Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden both offer great gardening classes, but there are a couple of other places to learn garden with kids in NYC also. In addition to gardening classes, there are many community gardens, gardening events and volunteer opportunities where kids can dig in and get planting. Here's what we found:

Free NYC Weekend Events for Kids April 17-19: Old School Street Fun, Carnivals, Earth Day, Movies, Swap and More

It is finally starting to feel like spring, so there is no reason to be cooped up this weekend! We’ve got plenty of free ways for you to take advantage of the 60 degree weather—from taking it back to the streets to celebrating the planet. Many of the best happenings this weekend are in honor of Earth Day, and can be found in our Earth Day post.

Read on for events that let you reminisce of your childhood while sharing a piece of it with the kids (by playing in the streets), learn about the inspiring life of a famous composer, play outside carnival-style, score free admission into the galleries at the MoMa, count bees and more. Whew! Sounds like a jam-packed weekend to me...

Spring Nature Activities in NYC: Hawks, Flowering Trees and Worms!

Springtime is when the nature in NYC makes itself most obvious to us city kids. While frequently we can be oblivious to the nature all around us, in Spring you can't help but notice the flowering trees, the buds bursting from the earth and, possibly even some wildlife. It's a great time to take your little urbanites to the park and observe the magic of nature at work. Here are some great ways to take in nature in the city this Spring, with places to see red-tailed hawk nests, flowering trees and earthworms.

Historic Richmond Town

This village and museum complex occupies 100 acres of living American history, as Richmond was the first town in Staten Island. There are 15 restored buildings, including the oldest Church on Staten Island, the first Court house on the island (which now serves as a museum), an old school house and an old print shop (remodeled, from 1860) that has an original printing press. There’s the Rezeau-Van Pelt Family Cemetery, which has graves dating back from the 1780s to the 1860s, a jailhouse, farm and a (seasonal) restaurant where you can eat foods from the time period. Oh, and the entire staff is always in period-appropriate attire, too.

Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Staten Island may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of Tibet, but the only Himalayan temple-style building in the whole U.S. calls the borough home. 

The museum opened in 1947 and houses the private collection of Jacques Marchais, which is the largest collection of Tibetan art in the West. It is on a lovely little hillside, with meditation gardens all around.

In addition to the extensive permanent collection of religious statues and objects, bronze figures and other art and paintings, the Tibetan Portrait: The Power of Compassion exhibit just opened. Tibetan Portrait has portraits, interactive displays and other objects to show the tradition and beliefs of the Tibetan people, and emphasizes cultural understanding and religious tolerance. It also highlights photographic portraits of Tibetan people (from everyday people to the Dalai Lama) by renowned contemporary artist, Phil Borges.

Staten Island Zoo

It’s true that the Staten Island Zoo isn’t the most extravagant and is the Bronx Zoo’s smaller cousin, but its still has a whole lot to offer and is a great place for kids to really hang out with animals.

In 2007, a newly renovated Reptile Wing opened with an extensive collection of reptiles and amphibians, and a “Fear Zone” that teaches visitors the truth, and talks about the myths behind venomous creatures. It really is a lot of fun and teaches kids respect for these animals, instead of fear.

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