New York City

Great Gift Idea: A Night at the Museum Sleepover

200812092319.jpgThis site is dedicated to helping parents find all the amazing, cool, once-in-a-lifetime events that you don't have to spend a fortune to take advantage of, but there are some events that are worth the splurge. A Night at the Museum Sleepover is one of them and would make a terrific Holiday Gift.

The American Museum of Natural History invites families to spend a night exploring the museum after everyone else has gone home and camp out in one of the exhibit halls. My daughter was lucky enough to be invited to do this with a friend who received the sleepover as a gift. What an amazing present! And they had such a great time.

Shopping Locally: Craft Fairs, Sample Sales and Holiday Shopping Events

200812020310.jpgBuying local is the hip new thing, but beyond just being trendy and "supporting local businesses," buying local is important to us because it builds community and sustains what we love most about NYC: its cool, eclectic mix of unique, small shops and walkable city streets.

There are several Holiday shopping events that make shopping locally into fun, outings. Plus we've got a round-up of sample sales.

New Children's Library Center at Main 42nd St Branch


When I was a kid I basically lived at the Jefferson Market Library. We climbed on the bronze oxen sculpture (the things we let kids do in the 70s), watched movies in their little viewing room and worked my way through the books, literally, starting from A. It's a great children's library. But, there are shamefully few great children's libraries in New York City and last year they closed the main children's center at the Donnell Library which was a double shame. But I'm super excited to hear that they are opening a beautiful, new Children's Library Center at the 42nd St. main library. WOW!

How to volunteer with your children in NYC

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We have more up-to-date posts about volunteering with kids in NYC in our Holiday Guide.

Reader, Susan, asked me if I knew of any places for families to volunteer around the Holiday time. Her idea was to get a couple of families together in her neighborhood to all volunteer together. That sounds like a great way to teach children about the importance of helping others and making it a fun community activity at the same time.

There are always so many opportunities around the city--even I find it overwhelming, but there are actually some great resources and websites that make it easy to find a good program to fit your location, child's age and interests to do some holiday giving.

New Free Shuttle To Brooklyn Attractions Makes Them Even More Attractive

Unfortunately due to cutbacks, all of these trolley routes have been discontinued as of 2012. What do the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children's Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park and the Prospect Park Zoo all have in common? They're wonderful NYC cultural institutions that you almost feel guilty for not going to more often (or ever). You know they're great, they're just a little...inconvenient.

But now, they all have something else in common too...they're all stops on the brand new FREE Heart of Brooklyn cultural shuttle. The Heart of Brooklyn Culture Shuttle is a free hop-on hop off service running three different programs:

Mommy and Me Classes on Saturdays

[UPDATED: July 14, 2012]

They say that when you have kids everything changes. By everything, I think they predominantly mean Saturdays. Remember when your Saturdays could include marathon sessions of, well, pretty much whatever you like to do. Now Saturdays can just feel like marathons of...marathons. Sometimes structured weekend activities help make Saturdays run smoother.

Mommy Poppins reader, Josie from Riverdale, asked if I knew of any Mommy and Me programs that offer Saturday classes and I thought I'd share some here with all of you. I mostly picked places that have multiple locations so that you can find a location near home. Click on the links to visit each site and find the most convenient locations.

Visiting the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in NYC with Kids

Check out our updated post about the Intrepid, published in 2013. The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum reopened in 2008 after a five-year renovation. As a lifelong New Yorker, I hate to admit that I had never been to the Intrepid before. Roaming around a big ship and looking at airplanes had never appealed to me. But since they took the trouble to redo it, and I now have a five-year-old son, I figured it was worth going to check it out and I'm glad we did.

The people at the Intrepid Museum obviously took families into consideration in their planning because they've created a whole new kid-friendly section called the Exploreum. In the Exploreum, kids play their way through exhibits that teach them about the inner workings of the ship and life on the vessel, plus the Intrepid's role in the Space program.

Free Fun Friday - Fall Halloween Harvest Festivals

Starting this weekend, most events taking place for kids in NYC invite you to come in costume. So, get your Princesses and Spidermen ready and check out these fall festivals:

NYC Apple Day 2008 - the LES turns the "Big Apple" green with NYC Apple Day and  Go Green Lower East Side. Be transported back in time with the old-fashioned apple cider press, a live honey beehive plus some modern faves like

Free Fun Friday - Free Cooking Classes, Fall Festivals and Local Pumpkin Picking

IMG_0383.JPGFall has arrived and it's time to get yourself some pumpkins! Check out our posts on the best pumpkin picking and apple picking in the area if you want to head out of town. Or, you can stock up on pumpkins and fall fun right here in NYC with the top picks of this weekend's local pumpkin events. Plus, did you know that there are lots of free kids cooking classes available this weekend? Keep reading for the full scoop...


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