New York City

Camp Broadway Day Camps

Gotta sing? Gotta dance? If you're a theatre-loving kid, Camp Broadway has a summer program for you! Camp Broadway, Broadway's Original Summer Camp has programs for kids ages 6-17.

For Camp Broadway's tiny talents, ages 6-8, Shining Stars taps into your child's natural creativity through singing, dancing, and crafts. Taught by professional teaching artists, your Shining Stars will not only sing and dance, but paint their own scenery and design their own costumes! Five half days of fun culminate in a musical presentation for the entire family. The program includes lunch, snacks and materials.
 
For campers ages 9-11, Camp Broadway is the perfect fit. This program is five full days of training for the aspiring artists. Camp offers instruction from experienced Broadway-trained faculty and classes on ensemble singing, dancing, movement, voice and acting. There are also Master classes taught by Broadway artists, as well as a behind-the-scenes insight from the crew of a Broadway production.  The program includes a ticket to a Broadway show with a meet and greet with the Broadway performers afterwards. The week culminates with an on stage finale presentation for the entire family! The program includes meals, materials and merchandise.

For performers ages 12-14, CB2 is perfect!  This five day training for up-and-coming performers includes classes taught by experienced Broadway-trained faculty in ensemble singing, dance, movement and acting.  Master classes with Broadway artists in pop vocal technique and hip hop dance, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at a Broadway production are also included.  The campers will see a Broadway show and afterwards enjoy a meet and greet with the performers. The week culminates with an on stage finale presentation for the entire family!  The program includes meals, materials and merchandise.

Camp Broadway's "The Next Step"  is for emerging stars, ages 15-17, to focus on enhancing their individual talents through one-on-one coaching in scene study, vocal technique, movement, and overall presentation taught by experienced Broadway professionals. Five full days of small group and individual work are designed to challenge the performer. The program includes a behind-the-scenes look at a Broadway show, dinner in Times Square, a ticket to a Broadway show and a talk back with the cast. 

For more information, visit www.campbroadway.com or call 212-575-2929.

And for more great camp ideas, check out our Summer Camp Guide!

Celebrate The Romance of Childhood

In between the fish sticks and temper tantrums we sometimes forget about the romance of childhood. Their joy and fascination with incredibly simple things (like my daughter's recent discovery of scotch tape) or those moments when they are so incredibly empathatic that your can feel your heart breaking. Take some time out this Valentines Day to celebrate the beautiful small moments of being a child by introducing your kids to some classics:

The Red Balloon

At just 34 minutes and with almost no dialogue, this is the perfect first movie for any kid while also being a pure joy for adults and what could be more romantic than watching a red balloon waft down the streets of Paris in 1956? The screening at the Alliance Francaise will be followed by an hour of activities and games inspired by The Red Balloon, led by Le Club Th?©??tre, Saturday Feb. 9, tickets for Non-Members $10 / Children under 12 $5. Visit the site for more information.

Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity
Though always crowded and somewhat overpriced, there was nothing I loved more as a kid than going to Serendipity and getting their frozen hot chocolate. The enormous cup is filled with deliciousness and the whole place is a kid wonderland. The wait can be ridiculously long so I suggest making reservations. And, while you are in the neighborhood, take a ride on the Roosevelt Island tram which is a cheap thrill for any kid. For the price of a subway in each direction you get a surprisingly intense ride that lasts 4 minutes!

Surf the Beach
This one is for the adventurers but if you dare, a great way to spend a winter day is to bundle up and head to the beach. There is something really magical about being on a huge empty beach in the winter and it's an amazing place to take photographs (try taking real photographs too, you remember, the ones that require film). The shells and sand are still there and will entertain most kids for hours. With the future of Coney Island up in the air, you might want to hop on the D, N, Q or F train to catch some last glimpses of the beautiful, seedy and outrageously photogenic amusement park. And if you get chilly, you can always head over to the Aquarium which is right off the boardwalk. Or, take the A train to the Rockaways where you may even be able to catch some crazy surfers. This video is proof that they are out there in the middle of freezing February.

Free Passes to Botanic Garden Lunar New Year Celebration

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Today begins the two week Lunar New Year celebration in New York City with fun family events through out the city. This weekend is the Flower Market in Chinatown and although they publicize that there are children's activities, I have gone the last few years and been disappointed. Save going to Chinatown for the parade and cultural festival next weekend.

This year I'm excited about the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Lunar New Year Celebration and Flower Market. In addition to a beautiful Flower Market selling traditional Asian plants and cut flowers (where better to buy plants and flowers than from the experts at the Botanic Garden), there will be many interesting workshops, activities, food and performances for both kids and parents.

Kids will be able to create paper versions of New Year flowers, make citrus sachets using material from culturally significant plants, and pot up a lucky bamboo stalk to take home, while learning about its historical meaning in parts of Asia. Adults can even have a turn learning the ancient Chinese art of brush painting in a hands-on workshop.

The Year of the Rat will be welcomed with a full lineup of exciting entertainers, including spectacular music and dance performances for the whole family by some of the most renowned Asian performance groups in the world. I think kids will enjoy the Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera. - opera with martial arts, acrobatics, and music! The Red Silk Dancers use silk fans, fiery ribbons, and shiny metal clashes in “Silk and Sword�. And kids will be awed by the Korean Traditional Music and Dance Institute of New York's dance and powerful drumming.

An extraordinary exhibition on loan from the Beijing Museum of Fine Arts, featuring contemporary paintings, papercuts, and textile art made by peasant women living in China, will be on display in the Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery for families to enjoy.

When the kids get munchy visit the Terrace CafГѓВ© which will feature a special menu of culinary delights from China, Korea, and Vietnam, including Korean kimchi, a special soup, and celebratory sweets!

The whole thing takes place indoors on Sunday, February 3 from 10am-4pm. All the workshops and performances are free with admission and we're giving away two free adult admission passes (kids under 12 are free). You can check the BBG website for a full schedule of performances, events and more information.

Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a pair of adult passes to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Lunar New Year Celebrations. A winner will be selected at 6pm tonight and notified by email.

And check back at the site later in the day for some more weekend activities.

Kicking off camp month with ACA camp fairs

campguide.jpgIn the country people spend the cold winter months planning their gardens. In New York City people spend their winters planning their summer vacations. Throughout February, Mommy Poppins will be bringing you lots of information about camps and summer programs for kids from toddler up through teens.

To get a jump start on the whole process, you may want to visit one of the American Camp Association camp fairs on Saturday, February 7 at Downtown Manhattan Friends Seminary or on Sunday, February 8 at The Berkeley Carroll School in Park Slope.

Visiting a camp fair is good way to scan through lots of different camps at one time and hone in on a couple that seem to fit your child's interests. Expect camps to have videos about their programs and Camp Directors to be available to answer questions. If you have an older child, definitely bring them along so they can check it all out for themselves.

See the times and locations of upcoming camp fairs.

For more information on summer camps, visit our Summer Camp Guide.

 

The Secret Glass Gardens

Sadly, this garden has closed. New York is filled with amazing little secret spots that are cool to discover. One that's fun for kids on a cold winter day is the Rusk Institute's Glass Gardens at NYU Medical Center. This beautiful 1,700 square foot conservatory garden is right in midtown Manhattan, has a koi pond, tropical birds, a sand pit for kids and extra-wide stroller-friendly paths, since it was designed as a therapeutic garden and to accommodate wheelchairs.

Barnes and Noble Storytimes

We recently wrote about the Battery Park City as a nice place to spend a day indoors., with lots of different activities amenities. Well, here's a nice addition to this little outing: there's a big, brand new Barnes & Noble bookstore just about a block away at 270 Greenwich Street (the entrance is actually on Warren).

Mommy Poppins Readers' Top 25 Places for NYC Kids

Our Custom Made for Kids personalized children's book giveaway is over, and what a great response we got. Not only did we have lots of responses, but each commenter told us their favorite thing to do in NYC with kids. The list is filled with some wonderful gems. After the jump, our contest winner and Mommy Poppins Readers' Top 25 Things to Do with Kids in NYC.

Drop + Dine takes the terrible out of eating out with toddlers

drop_and_dine_logo_low_res.jpgHaving a grown up meal out in a restaurant isn't really a luxury. It can be a survival tactic for stressed out parents who have virtually forgotten that they share anything in common besides the DNA of their children and their inability to get The Wonder Pets theme song out of their head. But figuring out the whole babysitter thing can make going out to eat more a chore than a treat.

So when Brian Kaplan, founder of Parent Play, told me they were starting Drop and Dine it sounded like a great idea. Drop and Dine lets parents eat in peace and quiet in a nice restaurant while their children are entertained and fed just steps away in the private party room of the same restaurant.

 

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