Alina Adams

Alina Adams

Alina Adams's picture

Alina Adams - NYC Writer

Alina was born in the former Soviet Union, spent her teen years in San Francisco, and came to New York City to work for ABC Daytime and ABC Sports. She spent her pre-marriage/pre-kid years as a figure-skating researcher and producer for the U.S. and World Championships, the 1998 Olympics in Nagano and various professional shows.

After learning that international travel and resentful toddlers don’t mix, she switched to PGP Productions and its soap operas As the World Turns and Guiding Light, where she wrote New York Times best-selling tie-in books and developed interactive properties like AnotherWorldToday.com.

The birth of her third child (and the process of enrolling her two older kids into NYC schools—a full-time job in itself!) convinced Alina that she was not, in fact, Superwoman, and prompted her to leave TV and turn to writing books, including romance novels (Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga, When a Man Loves a Woman), figure-skating mysteries (Murder on Ice, On Thin Ice) and nonfiction (Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama’s Greatest Moments).

In addition to contributing to Mommy Poppins, Alina blogs for Jewish parenting site Kveller.com and is in the process of turning her previously published backlist into enhanced e-books with multimedia features like audio, video and more. Follow her exhaustive and exhausting efforts to become a Mommy Media Mogul (is that a thing? If it isn’t, it really should be) at AlinaAdams.com and on Google+

Latest posts by Alina

Hotel Rooms with Views of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Chances are you're not even thinking about Thanksgiving yet. After all, we still have Halloween to get through! But as anyone in the NYC hotel industry will tell you, families looking to book a hotel where they can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Midtown Manhattan do so up to a year ahead of time! For a room with a view of Snoopy, Spidey, Hello Kitty, and their other inflatable pals, you've really got to plan in advance.

It's not just NYC tourists who splurge on hotels for the Thanksgiving parade, either. Over the past few years, we've had many New Yorkers write in asking which hotels looked out on the Macy's Parade route (it sure beats watching from the street). While most of these hotels still have availability at the time of this writing, call right away as they'll most likely sell out soon. And if you do get shut out, it's worth checking closer to Thanksgiving since there are sometimes last-minute cancelations.

For a budget-saving alternative, catch a prime viewing spot the night before the parade as the giant balloons are inflated on the Upper West Side.

Birthday Freebies in NYC: Where Kids Eat Free and Get Gifts

In the era of rent-out-the-whole-museum and hire-a-marching-band kid birthday party, it's nice to find a freebie.

Of course, there are plenty of at-home, DIY ways to celebrate your child's birthday for FREE, from mirror notes to playing hooky. But it's also the one time of year that you can take advantage of all those corporate birthday clubs that promise to make your kid's big day even more special with fun freebies like complimentary gifts, food, and other deals.

We've rounded up a mix of local spots, with a lot of national chain restaurants and play spots thrown in, which all offer birthday goodies. Some are specific to kids, though some you can snag, too, and most will require some sort of email-list sign up. 

Find more fun for their big day (maybe even a marching band) in our Birthday Party Guide and Directory for NYC families.

Coding Classes and Camps for NYC Kids

In our increasingly tech-driven world, knowing how to code is an invaluable skill. But kids who code don't really look at it that way—they just think it's lots of fun to design video games, create websites, and make robots move. Take my 10-year-old: He first caught the coding bug in second grade after attending a demo led by RoboFun where he learned about the wonders of Scratch, an easy-to-use programming language specifically aimed at children ages 8 to 16. Ever since, he's continued to learn how to code at home thanks to FREE educational websites like Scratch's official site at MIT and CodeAcademy.

Even though he can work on his own, I'm a big believer in kids learning from other kids (not to mention the benefits of socializing with peers and getting him out of my hair for a few hours). So I recently researched coding classes for children in New York City to locate a program or two that would work for him. What I found were 11 high-quality classes and camps for kids who have an itch to try Scratch or another computer programming language. You can find even more tech fun for kids in our Geek Guide and more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

Football Leagues and Lessons for NYC Kids

Baseball may be America's official pastime but a recent study claims football is actually our favorite sport—and not just during Super Bowl season either. But while grown-ups may love watching or playing football, they're often less enthusiastic when it comes to their kids doing it, for risk of concussions and other head injuries.

Fortunately, New York City is home to a number of football programs for NYC kids, including non-contact options like flag and touch football, where tackling isn't part of the game. And even if your kids do opt for traditional American tackle football, these leagues make safety a priority, and generally children aren't allowed to pile on until they're past the peewee stage.

So get out that pigskin: Here are seven football programs where New York City kids can get their game on.

Find more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

Learn Spanish: Language Classes for NYC Kids

New York City is full of places where young kids can learn how to habla Español. In fact, Many New York City public schools offer wonderful dual-language Spanish programs, as well as other languages.

But rest assured there are plenty of other options if your child's school doesn't offer a language program. We've rounded up some of our favorite Spanish learning centers for New York City kids. So embrace the diversity of New York City culture, where your kids will certainly get to practice what they learn in the classroom!

Find more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings, and check out our guide to Foreign Language Camps for NYC Kids.

Karate and Tae Kwon Do Classes for NYC Kids

My husband always said he wanted our sons to know they could take a punch and live to tell about it. To that end, martial arts classes were mandatory in our house, not just for self-defense but also to teach them self-control. (After all, enough of the latter can often stop you from needing the former.)

The two most popular martial arts disciplines for kids in New York City seem to be karate and tae kwon do. So we've rounded up some excellent classes in all five boroughs where kids can get kicking.

Find more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

Musical Theater Classes Where NYC Kids Sing, Dance, and Act

We love musical theater in our family and feel lucky we live just a few subway stops from the Great White Way. But in New York City, kids can do more than just watch a show—they can become budding Broadway babies.

New York City offers a slew of musical theater classes for children than run practically from birth through high school. We could never cover every one of these programs in one post, but we have rounded up our favorites, with options in all five boroughs.

Find more NYC classes in our Classes Guide and Directory Listings.

Upper East Side with Kids: Top 50 Things to Do for NYC Families

Like the Upper West Side and Park Slope, the Upper East Side is one of those neighborhoods where you can barely go a block without passing some kind of kid-centric business or attraction.

Despite its somewhat snooty reputation, the 'hood has lots of fun (and often affordable!) activities for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens. From unique play spaces to world-class art museums, lush landscaped parks to lovely independent toy stores, afternoon tea complete with fairy wings to a game of Skee-Ball in a barbecue joint, the Upper East Side has all that plus mansions, parades, public art, towering temples and churches, athletic complexes, and some of the priciest real estate in town.

For the purposes of our post, our geographical boundaries are 59th to 96th Streets between Fifth Avenue and the East River. That's a lot of family-friendly ground to cover so let's dive in with our top 50 things to do with kids on Manhattan's Upper East Side, including the brand-new Second Avenue subway line.

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