New York City

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...

Crazy Arty Fun For Kids at the 2008 Art Under the Bridge Festival


Jodi Call wrote a great piece for us this summer with four excellent outings and I thought it was so great I invited Jodi to write for us more often. Jodi thought it was so great, she started her own blog; Pistols and Popcorn follows her amazing adventures around New York with her son, Roan. Here's, hopefully, one of many awesome posts from Jodi:

“What kind of thing do you want to do this week-end?” It’s the question I pose to my son, Roan. But we both know I’ve always got something in mind. This week he tried to trip me up with this: “I want to do nothing, but we can do it outside.” Oh brother, mister. You’ve no idea who you’re messing with.

This weekend is the 2008 Art Under the Bridge Festival. This is the 12th year of the festival, and my 3rd year as a devotee. After a summer full of orchestrated outings and a few weeks of structured school days, the timing couldn’t be better for an entire weekend of chaotic fun with your kids.

New York Apple Picking and Fall Festivals

[UPDATED: 9/21/08]

Growing up in New York City, one of our family traditions was going apple picking in the Hudson Valley every Fall. It's a tradition I've enjoying continuing with my own kids because it's a great day out in the country, it's economical (considering the price of apples from FreshDirect), and it's even trendy (if you're into the locavore thing). It's a great activity for Columbus Day Weekend, but there are also a bunch of free Apple Festivals right here in NYC if you don't feel like taking the kids traveling.

The Brooklyn Children's Museum

This weekend is the Grand Reopening of the Brooklyn Children's Museum after an $80 Million renovation and expansion. I got a sneak peek today and am excited to share lots of pictures and details about this amazing new space, plus grand opening events and special pricing information.

For the past year the Brooklyn Children's Museum has been closed while undergoing an $80 million renovation and expansion. The Museum officially opens to the public on September 20th with twice as much space and three times the programming. It is now also the first museum in NYC to go Green. The building is certified as a green building and the Museum will be offering programs to teach children about the building and it's systems as well.

I was incredibly impressed with the new museum's exhibits. They have turned the old, somewhat rag-tag museum into a new world class cultural institution, but one that stays true to and celebrates it's Brooklyn roots. Particularly the World Brooklyn exhibit, which is like a combination of old school Sesame Street and Disney's Epcot Center.


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