New York City

Free Demo Classes in a Neighborhood Near You

Free demo classes are like the gallery openings of childhood, but instead of free wine and cheese and pretentious art talk, you get a taste of some of the best classes available for kids. Here are some classes for babies, toddlers and kids that have free demo classes coming up, plus a super cool try-out opportunity for girls who just want to rock!

T. Kang Tae Kwon Do in Tribeca offers terrific martial arts classes for children as young as 2 years old and up through adult. Visit their open house on Sunday, April 6th at 12pm for a Tae Kwon Do demo by Junior and Adult students and stick around for free trial classes afterward. Register at the open house for a 10% discount. For questions, please call (212) 219-0043 or email

Apple Seeds, the Chelsea play space is offering a full range of free demo classes like, "almost yoga" for 2.5/3 year olds, crafts, fitness, Spanish, "my Chelsea art opening", cooking and more. Classes are offered for babies up through 5 years old. VIsit the website to see the full offerings and then call to sign up for a free class.

Music for Aardvarks has arrived in a new location in Tribeca and to celebrate they're offering free $15 demo classes throughout the rest of March. You have to reserve a spot online. There are still spaces for March 19, 20, 26 and 27 for these city-centric kid music classes. In addition to the free $15 classes participants will get a free Taxi CD and $50 off Spring registration. [Sorry for the misprint. The classes are not free, but you do get a free CDS]

Not to be outdone, during the first week of April, Music Together is offering free trial classes for new students in several locations around Manhattan including, Murray Hill, Gramercy, Chelsea, SoHo, Tribeca, Battery Park City, and the West Village. Check out their website for dates and locations and to sign up.

In the "not free, but totally worth it" category is the Willie May Rock Camp for Girls MiniCamp this Saturday, March 22nd from 1-7pm at Union Pool in Brooklyn. They'll be giving guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and singing lessons to help uncover the rock star that lurks inside your little princess. Performances by hot girl rock bands Mod Rocket, Magnolia and Care Bears on Fire may inspire an irreversible trend toward uber-coolness. Open to all ages, but recommended for 5 and up. Register online. Performances by hot girl rock bands Mod Rocket, Magnolia and Care Bears on Fire may inspire an irreversible trend toward uber-coolness. Open to all ages, but recommended for 5 and up. Register online.


Sign Up for AMNH Summer Camps Before They're History

 2332 2138747373 417C50B72E MWhile registration for the American Museum of Natural History's summer camps hasn't started yet, it's a good idea to keep a look out. In 2007, the camps sold out before they were even made available online.

For more information on these camps complete with hands-on investigations, behind-the-scenes tours and visits with Museum scientists, visit their site, and read on.

2009 AMNH Adventures Summer Camps will include:

Robotics Camp
Interested in a robotic expedition to Mars? Design, build, and program your own robot to explore an unknown planet! Using Lego Mindstorms robotic kits and computers, participants learn principles of robotics, computer programming, and teamwork during this exciting week.

Sampler Camp
(for first graders)
Want a taste of the AMNH Adventure Camps, but still just one year too young? Come get a taste of what hands-on learning is all about, with a day of astrophysics activities, a day of frogs, and a day of water!

Fossils and DNA
Who are we and where do we come from? Embark on an exciting journey through human evolution and learn about our ancestors, from early primates to the first hominids. Explore the brand new Spitzer Hall of Human Origins while learning how to use fossil evidence and DNA??”and have fun doing it!

Meet the Beetles
Break out your magnifying glasses and get ready to observe the natural world and its amazing creatures! From the beetles, birds, and giant tortoises Charles Darwin made famous to the local array of bugs and plants in Central Park, children will enjoy discovering and learning about science and nature during this fun-filled week.

Astrophysics Camp
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live, work, and travel in space? Could life exist on other planets? What are black holes and do they really exist? Join others who share your interest in space science and learn about the universe through hands-on activities and Museum explorations.

For more camp ideas, check out our Summer Camp Guide

West Side Tennis Summer Day Camp

The West Side Tennis Club, former home of the U.S. Open for 60 years, is a world-class facility with 39 courts. Your children can play on all four surfaces: Har-Tru, Deco-Turf, red clay and grass. Year-round, juniors are offered inter-Club team competition. They enjoy an extremely favorable player to pro ratio; we strive to have 4-6 players per court. The Junior Tennis Camp is personally directed by Director of Tennis, Bob Ingersole,and Junior Program Director, Thomas Gilliland and is staffed by USPTA and PTR tennis professionals. Bob Ingersole is a former world-ranked player who has coached hundreds of sectionally and nationally ranked juniors. He was selected to participate in the first USTA Elite Coaches program and has completed both levels of USTA Science Competency tests.

For more information: West Side Tennis Club website

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

Lester's Summer Camp Store

Lester's offers the latest trends and fashion brands in clothing, shoes and accessories from layette to older teen and those in between. Your shopping experience is made easy with a sales staff that delights in helping our customers find just what they're looking for .

Lester's stores are located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Greenvale, Huntington, and Deal, NJ.

Please call for an appointment with a camp counselor at the Lester's nearest you.

Manhattan-1534 Second Aveue/80St. 212 734-9292 Brooklyn - 1102-1120 Avenue U-718 645 4501 Greenvale, LI - 90 Northern Blvd- 516 626-1161 Huntington,LI - 350 Rte. 110 (next to Barnes & Noble) 631 299-2222


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

The Art Farm Drop In or Drop Off


The Art Farm is another one of the unique places for kids in New York City, an indoor farm with a wide variety of animals including bunnies, chinchillas, hamsters, guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, birds, and tropical fish. Children can touch, feed and hold the animals, as well as participate in many other activities.

I know The Art Farm best for their show-stopping birthday parties, but they also offer playgroup classes for toddlers, Mommy and Me classes and Farm Helper/Animal care classes for children up to the age of 8 years and I just found out about their drop in/drop off program, what they call their Open House program.


Free Activity-a-Day for President's Week Break

diy.gifIt's mid-winter break and whether you just have the four day President's Weekend off or the whole 10 day vacation, you need a plan for things to do to filling those days with fun and memory-making activities that won't break the bank. I can't believe some of the great free activities going on in the city this week.

So I put them together to create the Mommy Poppins Do-It-Yourself Mid-Winter Break Camp! It's fun, it's free and it's sure to fill your vacation days with awesome memory-making activities. The only draw-back is you don't get to ship your kids off to do all the fun stuff with someone else. Oh wait, that's a plus too!

Day One: Friday February 15
Free Skating Prospect Park Wollman Rink 8:30 am to 9pm
Get in the mood for your wintry vacation with a special evening of free ice skating followed by hot chocolate at Prospect Park Wollman Rink. Actually the skating is free all day today, but doing something a little out of character like skating in the evening is a great way to break your everyday routine and get into the vacation mood without leaving New York.

Day Two: Saturday, February 16
Fill your kids with a little culture at some unusual performances around the city. Your pick: Sword Dancing, Gospel or Ice Skating Competition.

Two separate, free sword dancing performances in one day??”at the Museum of the City of New York 1:30pm or at Jefferson Market Public Library 1pm??”what are the odds of that? [Thank you to New York Magazine for clarifying to me that these two performances are actually part of a sword dance festival going on throughout the city both Saturday and Sunday. Check the festival homepage for more free locations around Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Tri-State Area]

Meanwhile at the World Financial Center enjoy Gospel Choir Competition with singers from all over the country. Youth groups will sing first, starting at 10am with adults following at 1:30 to 5pm. How sweet it is.

And at Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers the Skating Club of New York will hold it's Showcase Competition in Theatrical Skating at 1:30pm.

Note: The sword dancing at the Museum of the City of New York is free with admission and children under 12 are free, but adults will have to pay the $9 museum admission.

Day Three: Sunday, February 17
Family Arts Workshop: MAKING A MARK 1 - 3 pm
Enjoy a child-friendly docent-led tour of the current funky abstract art In Context exhibit followed with an art making workshop. Space is limited. Please call or email Rose at 212.598.0400 x229 or to reserve your place.

Day Four: Monday, February 18
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is usually closed on Mondays, but will open for this President's Day. There will be special family programs throughout the day, including story times, films, and gallery sketch talks.

Take advantage of a free complimentary family pass for free admission for up to 6 people. Register and print out the invitation for your free pass plus a $5 off coupon to the museum store.

Day Five: Tuesday, February 19
Play at the Parks??”Actually every day throughout the vacation break the NYC Parks Department is hosting a winter festival with fun activities for kids.

Historic Lefferts House offers Coming in from the Cold where kids can experience and learn what children did for fun over 100 years ago with historic indoor games and projects. February 16-24 12pm -4pm.

The Audubon Center hosts a Children's Film Festival with kid-friendly nature films followed by nature crafts.

See all the offerings at the winter festival website.

Day Six: Wednesday, February 20
Fort Greene Park will offer its own daily educational activities during the break. On the 20th, kids can learn about the urban wildlife that lives all around them and create an animal craft. 11am.

Day Seven: Thursday, February 21
The Brooklyn Children's Museum On-the-Go will be having a Tales for Tots at the Brooklyn museum with international stories illustrated by real artifacts from the Brooklyn Museum's collections.

Day Eight: Friday, February 22
It's been a long week. How about chilling out at a free storytime yoga class at Karma Kids Yoga.

Day Nine: Saturday, February 23
They Might Be Giants promote their new album, Here Come the 123s with a free performance at Borders in the the Time Warner Center! 3-5pm

Day Ten: Sunday, February 24
Princess Katie and Racer Steve perform for free in Chelsea Market at 10:3am in honor of Steve's birthday. Costumes encouraged.

Whew! I hope that keeps you as busy all week having fun as it kept me writing it up. Don't forget about our Winter Fun Guide. If any of these ideas don't tickle your fancy one day, there's plenty of other fun stuff to do with kids in New York in there. Working parents, you can print this post out for the sitter too.

Park Slope Day Camp

The best of Brooklyn summer camps since 1992, The Park Slope Day Camp is a private summer and holiday camp with locations in the Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Bay Ridge communities of Brooklyn. Campers enjoy the wide variety of activities our camps offer. Parents love our flexible and accommodating schedules and programs.

Choose the weeks that you want; weeks need not be consecutive. Limited spaces for daily registration are available in most programs. End of Summer Mini-Camp is available the last week in August. Camp Hours Regular hours are 8am-4pm. Optional extended hours end at 6:30pm.

For summer campers in our Pee Wee program, we offer our Bankers' Hours option, a shortened day of 8am-2:30pm.

What Makes Our Camps Special
The large variety of programs we offer for ages 3.5 to 14
The safe, fun, stimulating environment we create Accredited by the American Camp Association.*
Our stable, talented and committed leadership team and staff who relate well to children
Fabulous elective periods for concentration in sports & arts Superior counselor to camper ratios
Our climbing wall
Very flexible registration and accommodating hours
Mini-Camps at the end of August prior to the opening of school & during public school vacations
Small co-ed groups, grouped by grade
Our love for the outdoors Professional management & organization
Licensed by the NYC Department of Health and inspected twice yearly.
Reports are filed at the Bureau of Inspections.
Transportation from most Brooklyn locations.
*American Camp Association Accreditation means that The Park Slope Day Camp submitted to a thorough (over 300 standards) review of its operation by the American Camp Association - from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. American Camp Association collaborates with experts from The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth service agencies to assure that current practices at the camp reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation. T

he Park Slope Day Camp and American Camp Association form a partnership that promotes summers of growth and fun in an environment committed to safety.

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

The Art Farm Summer Day Camp in the City

Does your child like to make pizzas, create amazing art projects, do crazy science experiments, hang on the farm with the animals, pet snakes and learn magic tricks from the magician himself? Well, The Art Farm in the City has the perfect summer experience!

Our farm is a green/eco-friendly facility, and is the home to a wide variety of animals including bunnies, chinchillas, hamsters, guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, birds, and tropical fish. The Art Farm in the City believes that the incredible connection between children and animals teaches children independence, responsibility and compassion.

During a full day at camp kids ages 4-8 can enjoy all of these activities at The Art Farm as well take swimming lessons at the 92nd Street Y and learn soccer with Super Soccer Stars in Carl Schurz Park. Campers ages 6-8 participate in X-games in the park and choose from electives such as jewelry making, digital photography, computer, wood working, dance, drama, animal science, tennis and karaoke to customize their day.

The half-day program is offered from 9:00-12:30 for children ages 3 - 4. Here they experience a warm nurturing environment that allows them to feel comfortable with separation. Children spend time on the farm, create art masterpieces, bake goodies, sing their favorite songs and play soccer as well. The children go outside every day for soccer at Carl Schurz Park or for playground time at Asphalt Green.

Every week The Art Farm in the City offers new themes and many interesting visitors come to see the children. Goats, sheep and baby chicks come to spend the week with us, chefs from different cultures come to cook with us, and a variety of musicians come in to jam.

Summer Camp at The Art Farm'shalf-day program for 3 - 4 year olds is offered from 9:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. and the full day program for 4 - 8 year olds is offered from 9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m. Weekly sessions are available, and both programs are offered two, three or five days a week.

The Art Farm offers a variety of programs for children of all ages, including birthday parties, mommy & me classes, play group, after school classes, preschool, open house, and a part-time pet program. This environment provides the children with opportunities to grow socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually in a warm, loving, and nurturing farm atmosphere. The Art Farm is also an eco-friendly facility, where the children learn to care for our planet through learning to recycle and reuse.
For more information visit the website for The Art Farm in the City:, or contact us at or 212-410-3117.

Check out more cool camps like this in our Summer Camp Guide.

Marymount Summer Program

Marymount Summer Program

1026 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10028,

June 22nd – July 24th 2009


Marymount's outstanding summer program offers day camps for boys and girls (ages 3.5-13) in the heart of New York City. All camps include weekly field trips, creative arts, outdoor spots, and swim instruction.


The World Cultures Day Camp (ages 3.5-5) is run by early childhood experts and is designed to inspire creative play and encourage discovery through age appropriate indoor and outdoor activities. The program examines the richness of our world's different cultures, including: music, art, dance, language and cuisine.


Young Explorers Camp (ages 5-6) Experienced science teachers introduce campers to the world of natural and physical sciences through hands on experimentation and field studies.  Perfect for the budding scientist who loves nature and animals, building and construction, fiddling with gadgets, and mixing in test tubes while discovering their natural world.


Cabaret Musical Theater Camp (ages 5-6) For children who love to sing and dance, the camp offers an exciting and fun-filled immersion into the creative and collaborative process of musical theater. Campers will perform a Camp Cabaret of show tunes at the end of the five-week session.


The Drama Camp (ages 7-13) is a comprehensive and creative musical theater program run by professional teaching artists. Campers participate in daily workshops in dance, acting, music, and set design, culminating in the production of two full musicals. Campers participate in a Meet the Artist program, where they work with some of Broadway's most talented actors, directors and designers and attend a Broadway show.


The Science and Technology Camp (ages 7-12) Campers discover the world of natural science and technology through laboratory experiments, field studies and multimedia activities, led by a team of science and technology experts in Marymount's state of the art lab facilities. Highlights include weekly field trips to some of NYC’s most prestigious science institutions and museums, chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, video game design, and digital movie making.


Visit to download a brochure and registration form, or call 212-744-4486 x155.  Email:



Summer Breeze at Gymtime

Our exciting program of activities is located in the York Avenue Preschool and Gymtime, Rhythm and Glues facility. Our safe, spacious and exciting indoor environment is the perfect setting for a wide variety of arts and crafts, music, cooking, sports and gymnastics. All of this is perfectly complimented by more adventures in the outdoor water play area and our new playground equipment. Your children are in safe hands.
Summer Breeze counselors are often regular members of York Avenue Preschool and Gymtime, Rhythm and Glues maintaining the same high standards that we expect throughout the school year. Summer Breeze day camp is for separated children from the ages of 3 years to 5.3 years. For more information please contact us at 212-861-7732 or visit our website at

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


Subscribe to RSS - New York City