25 Good-to-Know Tips for New Parents in New York City

Whether you moved here as a 20-something, or are a lifelong New Yorker, you might think you've got this city figured out. After all, you know the ins and outs of roommate searches, you can score theater tickets on the cheap, or find the nearest happy hour or trendy bite to eat with the blink of an eye, but once you become a parent, New York City a foreign land.

I've been in your shoes, going from a carefree young professional to a diaper-bag toting mom seemingly overnight. Really, it was nine months of staring down my "new" New York while fighting off morning sickness and simultaneously searching for birthing spotspediatricians, day cares, and baby gear. That was (ahem) 13 years and three kids ago...so I've picked up a few tricks and tools of the trade.

Here are 25 nuggets of NYC new parent advice. Find more baby and new parent hacks in our NYC Pregnancy and Baby Guide.

Zip Lines and Adventure Ropes Courses for Kids in and Around NJ

Gear up for an outdoor adventure at one of New Jersey's newest treetop obstacle courses, or buckle up for a soaring ride on a zip line. Swaying bridges, wobbly balance logs, cargo nets, high wires, and rope ladders are among the features at some sky-high ropes courses, along with tree climbers and platforms built right into tree trunks. Many treetop courses are best for older kids and teens, but some also offer tykes courses that are closer to the ground.

We've rounded up some of the coolest of these zip lines and ropes courses in New Jersey, a few in Pennsylvania, and even a year-round indoor option just over the state line in Westchester. You'll find these parks at local zoos, amusement parks, down the Jersey Shore, and even at some of the Poconos family resorts.

Coding and Computer Science Classes to Prepare Kids for the 2030s

As parents, we hear about the growing importance of STEM education all the time. Specifically, Computer Science which is getting more and more attention as the technology boom shows no signs of stopping (and fears about robots snatching up our children's future jobs continues to grow...). But can parents rely on schools to prepare our kids? Technology is evolving so fast, it’s hard to stay on top of it all. Let alone, understand how it might impact our children’s futures.

To help provide insight into the best coding and STEM education practices, we sat down with Holly Horrigan, a computer science instructor at CS Recitations, a year round after school program in Natick that features a comprehensive curriculum for grades 3 through 12. Read on to learn why exactly these types of programs are so important, and how to make sure you're setting your child up for major STEM success.

42 NYC Summer Camps with Availability (Some with Savings Too!)

You've all heard the hype: Parents standing in line at the crack of dawn vying for a spot in their chosen summer camp. But the reality is, even if you haven't spent one minute thinking about summer camp, there's no need to panic—yet.

Sure, some programs fill up quickly with returning campers who get first priority, but there are so many amazing programs out there now. You'll find specialty camps for every interest, camps for preschoolers, and even toddlers, cooking camps, tech camps, arts camps, or traditional, general interest country day camps where you're kids will breathe fresh air all day and come home dirty and tired...you name it.  We've rounded up 39 NYC camps of all different kinds that still have spots for summer 2018 as of this writing. Some are even offering special discounts for Mommy Poppins readers. To find by location, click to open the map at the bottom of the post.

To find even more New York City-area camps, check out our comprehensive Summer Camp Guide and browse hundreds of programs by location, age and type in our NYC Summer Camp Directory.

Take the Subway to NYC Beaches: Coney, Rockaway, Orchard Beach

Fourteen miles of sparkling sand and crashing waves can be found in four of the five boroughs (sorry river-locked Manhattan), which is good news for NYC families. Because as much as we enjoy hitting the Jersey Shore, Fire Island, and other Long Island beaches, we're not big fans of renting cars and sitting in traffic.

New York City's beaches are just a subway, bus, or ferry ride away. From the "Bronx Rivera" to iconic Coney Island and the Rockaways, these urban seasides often offer just about everything suburban beaches do except the out-of-town commute.

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