News: New NYC Pools and Skateparks, Zip-line in Foley Square, a Dad’s Take on "Protecting" Kids from Cosmo


Outdoor fun seems to be the theme of this week's links roundup: Two new Brooklyn pools are set to open this summer, a pair of brand-new NYC skateparks also recently debuted and there's soon to be a zip line strung across Foley Square.

We've got all that plus the scoop on a new anti-bullying state law and my take on the mission to muzzle Cosmo because it's damaging to girls (as the dad of two young daughters, I have a strong opinion about it).

After last week's heat wave, your kids (and you) are probably counting down the days until public pool season starts this Thursday. This year, you've got a pair of new watering holes to try: the newly renovated McCarren Park Pool, which opens this week, and the pop-up pool at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 2, which will open at some point in July. This second pool is only three and a half feet deep, making it especially attractive to families.

Two new NYC skateparks recently started welcoming visitors. Last Friday, Coleman Oval Skatepark opened in Chinatown and Canarsie Skatepark debuted in May. These spots are welcome additions to our post about NYC skateparks, which also includes info about rules and waivers.

Want more thrills? How about a free zip line ride high above Foley Square? You'll be able to do just that at the fifth annual Summer Streets fest, which kicks off on Saturday, August 4 and runs three consecutive Saturdays. There's a 60-pound minimum weight requirement for the zip line so most tweens should be good to go.

The city struck a last-minute budget deal this week and not only were all of those free after-school spots saved, a couple thousand were added, too. We're still waiting for the details on whether the Bronx Zoo or the New York Aquarium lost half of their funding, as was initially proposed.

A new state cyber bullying bill will require schools to respond to reported harassment and insults made through social media, but it doesn’t go so far as to make such online taunts a crime. With the recent surge in teen suicides as a result of unmerciful bullying, this measure seems like a no-brainer but we're sure someone somewhere will take issue with it—probably via Twitter.

A few years back we rounded up hair cutting spots for kids in Brooklyn. Starting July 1, there will be a new one to add to our list: Area Kicks and Cuts in Carroll Gardens. An offshoot of the popular Area Kids toy store chain, this shoe store/children's salon will get a sibling in Park Slope at some point later this year.

Finally, you can brown bag Cosmo (as one mom is trying to do) so your tween girl won’t see “SEX” written in size 36 Arial bold letters, but if you think covering up one mag with a black plastic chastity belt is going to keep your daughter pure as she navigates her own changing body in the digital age, you're kidding yourself. Young girls are being bombarded with sex in lots of other places besides the grocery store checkout line. But there is a real cure for this particular societal ailment: conversation. Talking with your curious children will require work and nuance and patience on your part (gasp!), but it will make much more of an impression than censorship. Keep the lines of communication wide open so that you can impulse buy a Peppermint Patty to share and laugh at the ridiculousness of Cosmo together, knowing you both are far stronger than any poorly written glossy magazine.

Want a fabulous female take on this issue? Mom-101’s reaction to the anti-Cosmo mission is, as always, on point.

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