Tweens & Teens

Giveaway: Shark Boat Tour of the New York City Waterfalls!

One of the most anticipated events of this summer is the New York City Waterfalls. Starting on Friday, June 26th and running through October, four spots in the East River will be morphed into 100 foot high waterfalls. It's all part of a public art project by artist Olafur Eliasson who is challenging us island dwellers to pay a bit more attention to our water.

The five 90 to 120-foot tall installations will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, and will be lit after sunset, adding a striking element to New York City’s iconic skyline. One will be by the Brooklyn anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge, the other between Piers 4 and 5 at Furman and Joralemon Streets in Brooklyn. A third waterfall will be located in Lower Manhattan at Pier 35, and the fourth on the north shore of Governors Island.

The project uses only environmentally sustainable energy and they promise that the structures won't harm the fish, shoreline or aquatic life (yup, thats right, fish actually live in the East River).  And if your family gets really into it, you can follow up the waterfalls with trips to MOMA and PS1 where Eliasson currently has exhibits which incidentally are great for babies since they include lots of colored lights.

Bonus: Mommy Poppins is teaming up with Circle Line Tours to give 3 lucky readers a 4-pack of tickets to the Shark Boat speed boat tour of the waterfalls. What better way to get kids psyched to see some cool public art then by passing it at really fast speeds? And, learn after the jump about other FREE boat tours of the waterfalls that anyone can get tickets for!

Indoor Activity: Lefferts Historic House

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Reader, Carmen, submitted this great indoor activity tip. Thanks, Carmen!

Take a trip back to the late 1700's without ever leaving Brooklyn. The Lefferts House is one of a very small number of farmhouses to survive from Brooklyn's Dutch settlement period, over 300 years ago. This family-friendly destination features hands-on craft activities, a gardening program and furnished rooms to reflect daily life in the 18th century.

What my daughter and I enjoy best is the child's room, just off the entrance. Here, young ones can dress as they did on days past, play 'I Spy', color a mural, and play with toys and games from that time.

Free Bicycle Rental in Lower Manhattan

You can now rent bicycles in Lower Manhattan for FREE! Perfect for families, you can even get bikes with baby seats or Tag-a-longs (those kid bike add-ons that turn a bike into a tandem perfect for young bikers to safely ride with a parent). They have wagons too!?

Bike Around Downtown is a new program that lets you borrow a bike for a two to three-hour window. You can register online and pick up your free bike at the South Street Seaport Bike and Roll booth. From there you can bike up the Greenway up the East or West sides, or even head over to Governor's Island. (By the way, I noticed that they are also renting-not for free- bikes on Governor's Island now, with tag-a-longs available there too.)

It's Show Time! Ticket Giveaway Extravaganza


It can be hard to wow! a NYC kid. They've seen it all and can be too cool to be impressed with much. But we're giving away tickets for two shows, Xanadu, and Walking with Dinosaurs , that will make a big impression even on the most jaded New York City kid, or maybe even especially a jaded NY kid.


Xanadu, a little piece of musical heaven

During Xanadu, Melpomene, in just one of several meta comments throughout the production which make fun of the show and other Broadway hits, states that "it's like kiddie theater for 40 year old gays." Xanadu, the remake of the tragically bad 80s flick starring Olivia Newton-John, isn't made for kids, but it will appeal to them greatly.

Read on to find out the ten reasons you should go see Xanadu and find out about our giveaway for Xanadu and Walking with Dinosaurs tickets.


Look at this recipe of fun for kids:

Come Out And Play! Street Game Festival


Experience Random Acts of Fun at this street game festival. Come Out & Play, the all-free event which runs from June 6-8 turns the city into a playground with everything from massive multi-player scavenger hunts to real life video games to competitive picnicking. Their call is to rediscover the city through play and their lineup is wacky and really fun to read.

This would definitely make a memorable early Father's Day activity for any New York City dad. But, since some games start at 9pm and others include skills you may not be ready to have your kid learn, we have some suggestions for the kid friendly games:

Memorial Day Weekend Activites and Events for Kids


I can't believe it's Memorial Day Weekend already...and I'm cold! But here it is and it's bringing the good weather with it. Memorial Day Weekend marks the openings of the city beaches and swimming pools. Also Victorian Garden's Manhattan's own amusement park. And this week is Fleet Week. Get ready for summer with our lists of top family beaches, swimming pools and amusement parks. Whether you are staying in the city or heading for the hills it looks like this Memorial Day Weekend really will be a great kick-off into the summer season.

The big fireworks display Thursday night was just the beginning of the celebrations for the 125th Anniversary of Brooklyn Bridge. This weekend is filled with fun family events starting tonight, plus a bunch of other interesting cultural events. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!


Free Fun Friday: Dance Parade, Kites, Horses, Mamapalooza

This weekend is absolutely jam-packed with festivals and activities, so I will just write about the top ten can't miss activities in brief. Also be sure to check out our Weekend of trickster and Folklore Events post for this weekend. This is yet another weekend I wish I could be in ten places at once (one of them obviously being in bed...oh, man, wouldn't it be great if you could spend the day in bed while your other self went out with the kids and did all kinds of fun stuff...sorry, little mommy fantasy moment there.) 

Little Naturalists see Nature All Around in NYC


You don't have to move to the suburbs to experience nature right in your own backyard. Here in New York City we have more nature all around us than most people realize. I asked Leslie Day, author of Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City, to give NYC parents some ideas for how to find, experience and learn about nature with kids in New York. Read her article below for NYC nature activities; and I highly recommend her book, with detailed information on the flora and fauna of NYC and where you can find them, as an excellent resource to help you get more nature out of NYC with kids!

A Week of New York City Earth Day Activities 2008

eco-camp.jpgEarth Day and NYC Public School Spring Break are in alignment this year. Coincidence? ...Yeah, probably. (shrug). So, school's out but the fun, hands-on learning is just beginning. You don't have to go to a fancy resort to have an eco-vacation. With the Mommy Poppins Do-It-Yourself Spring Break Eco Camp kids can learn, do, make and play their way to a greener, smarter world right here in New York City.

We've organized a week jam -packed with the best of Earth Week's eco-friendly fun for NYC kids of all ages. It's almost completely free, will keep you busy all week, and registration is super-easy (just ask yourself if you still have spots available!)

Saturday, April 19
South Bronx EarthFest Celebration in St. Mary??™s Park.
A recycled materials fashion show, free boat rides in the Bronx River and electronics recycling are some of the highlights among the more than 30 activities booths at the South Bronx EarthFest Celebration in St. Mary??™s Park.
Saturday, Apr 19, 2008 from 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
St. Mary??™s Park , St. Ann??™s between 146th and 148th Streets
South Bronx Earth Fest is a family celebration of the environment and of the South Bronx community. Enjoy food and entertainment, including: a "Music Gets Me Green" song contest, a recycled-materials fashion show, a musical performance by the Oscar-nominated Impact Repertory Theater, free boat rides on the Bronx River, a student dance performance, and a keynote presentation by Majora Carter of Sustainable South Bronx. Bring your old cell phones, computers, printers, fax machines, TVs, VCRs and stereos to be recycled. Donate gently used clothing for reuse. Bronx Green-Up will be among the more than 30 activities booths, which also include Bronx Community Solutions, CENYC, Butterfly Project, Solar Oven, and South Bronx Job Corps Academy.
Free admission

Habana Outpost, Fort Greene's new eco-eatery, is hosting a very cool Earth Day Expo 2008. Two Days of free workshops and events including beekeeping, recycling within your environment, composting, recycled art show and umbrella recycling. I like this event because the activities make you think differently about greening your life rather than the same old topics we hear over and over again.
Saturday, April 19th & Sunday April 20th 2008.
757 Fulton Street (corner of South Portland) Brooklyn
Kid??™s Corner-Saturday& Sunday 12-6
Check the website for the full schedule.

Go Green Go Greenpoint
Saturday, Apr 19, 2008
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
McCarren Park, behind the Field House, Lorimer Street between Bedford and Driggs Avenues
Educational programs, recycling stations, a scavenger hunt, tree planting, live music and more.

Earth Day Weekend at the Queens Zoo
Sat 19, Sun 20 11am??“4pm.
Queens Zoo, Flushing Meadows??“Corona Park, Queens.
Free with zoo admission.
Kids learn how to sort recyclables, plant seeds, design their own reusable tote, and learn about environmental projects or activities going on in your Queens neighborhood and discover ways to participate.

Sunday April 20
Ninth Annual Gowanus Canal Flotilla
Sunday April 20 11am??“3pm.
Gowanus Canal, between Second Ave and Bond St, Brooklyn
Go on an eco-cruise. Take a ride in a 21 person indian shipping canoe and pick floating trash out of the Gowanus Canal.

Join us for a fun-filled of environmental education through recreation. Paddle along this annual flotilla on the historic and notorious little estuarine waterway that flows in the heart of Brooklyn. Armed with landing nets, garbage bags, our fleet of skiffs, including our unique 32ft canoe (accommodates 21 paddlers at at a time). The Urban Divers Environmental Educators guide eco-volunteers on an eco-cruise and help pick-up floatable debris along the water and on shore...Everyone is also welcomed to bring their own kayaks or canoes or GET ON BOARD OUR FLEET OF VESSELS, including our unique GIANT 32ft INDIAN SHIPPING CANOE- vessel accommodates 21 paddlers at time. To register to volunteer call The Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy at 718-802-9874, or 347-224-5828.

Earth Day Celebration in Central Park
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
Activities for all ages begin at 12:00 pm, including recycled musical instrument-making, tree tours, make and take home your own mini vegetable garden and more. Get the full schedule online.

Monday, Apr 21, 2008
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Sherman Creek Campus (3725 10th Avenue)
Spring Break is marked by being outdoors and having fun. This year for Spring Break, come learn how to build a boat, grow plants and vegetables, plant and identify trees, explore habits and fish, and more. Also join in arts and crafts projects, story time, group games, and service projects during the spring break camp at Sherman Creek Park.

Tuesday, April 22

Earth Week at Still Hip
283 Grand Avenue Brooklyn
Cool Brooklyn resale shop, Still Hip makes it easy to be green during Earth Week. Drop your old clothes off for recycling and let the kids practice tree poses.
10-5 pm: Clothing Recycling | FREE
12 pm: Baby Wearing & Cloth Diapering Workshop | FREE*
2:30 pm: Yogi Babies Save the Trees | FREE*
3:30 pm: Tree Pose Kids Yoga FUNdraiser | FREE*

Wednesday, April 23
Earth Week at the Bronx Zoo
April 21-27
Bronx Zoo
Free with Admission
Party for the Planet at the Bronx Zoo. Visit the Human Footprint exhibit to learn the impact people are making on the Earth, see recycled animal sculptures, hear stories, make crafts and more all week. See the full schedule.

Thursday, April 24
Earth Week at the Audubon Center
April 21 ??“ 27, 12 ??“ 5 p.m. every day
Prospect Park Audubon Center
Celebrate Earth Week at the Prospect Park Audubon Center! This year??™s Earth Week will have a different theme each day, with programming for environmentalists of all ages. Learn how to do your part through lectures, tours, activities, film screenings, workshops, recyclable crafts, and a daily exhibit. Check for a full list of what??™s going on.
Friday April 25
Still Hip
283 Grand Avenue Brooklyn
Private Picassos is offering FREE Recycled Art Workshops for kids age 2-7 at Still Hip on Friday, April 25th.
Pre-registration is requested. Email to reserve your spot today.
Workshops include:
Junk Printmaking Workshop
Young artists age 2-4 will use recycled materials for a relief printmaking activity. Feel free to bring any toilet paper or paper towel rolls,old dry sponges, wine corks, slightly used cardboard cup protectors and corrugated cardboard scraps. 10:00-10:45am

Recycled Robots Workshop
Young artists age 5-7 will use recycled materials to create their own robots. Feel free to bring old cereal boxes, small cardboard boxes, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, corrugated cardboard, etc. 11:00-11:45am

Saturday, April 26
Go Green Expo
Saturday, April 26th from 10 a.m. ??“ 6 p.m. and Sunday, April 27th from 10 a.m. ??“ 3 p.m.
Learn about eco-friendly alternatives available today. More than 200 booths showcasing organic food and wine, home and office products, health and beauty supplies, energy alternatives, and the latest cars and transportation. Find out more at
Sunday April 27
Gardening Day at the Queens Botanic Garden
Sun 27 noon??“5pm.
$5 Donation
Queens Botanical Garden, Flushing, Queens.
Learn about and celebrate the honey bee with puppet shows, storytelling, and clowns!

Stay tuned for next week when our Earth Week posts really HEAT up. An don't miss our GREAT GREEN GIVEAWAY.


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