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
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.
For preschoolers and young school-age kids, gym parties are an easy solution to the space limitations of the typical Brooklyn apartment. Young guests get to run, tumble, bounce, and jump around without having to worry about breaking anything or using their indoor voices, while you sit back, relax, and just watch. By the end, they're so tuckered out, even the sugar rush from the cake won't get them going again.
Here are 14 Brooklyn gyms that will make your kid's party extra special and allow guests to celebrate by burning off all their excess energy. Find even more birthday ideas in our Party Guide.
When considering athletic camps for summertime fun, swimming, baseball, tennis, and outdoor team sports come to mind first, but if your kids prefer their summer vacation served ice cold it's totally doable in NYC even when the temperatures are well above freezing. Four of our city's wonderful indoor ice-skating rinks offer figure skating or ice hockey summer camps for your budding Michelle Kwan or Wayne Gretzky.
Having just gone through the college application process with my oldest son, I am more aware than ever that schools aren't just looking for good grades, great SAT scores, an outstanding essay, and a list of after-school activities, they also want to see some hands-on, real-world experience, preferably with a leadership component. That's where a summer internship can make your average, high-achieving, New York City teen really stand out from the rest of the equally high-achieving pack.
Fortunately, because not all kids have the same interests, NYC summer internships come in a variety of flavors, paid and unpaid, regular and intermittent, educational and creative, with some also offering school and volunteer credit. The main thing summer internships in NYC tend to have in common is that the due dates to apply are usually before most teens have started thinking about their summer—or their college—plans.
To make sure your teens don’t miss out on any opportunities (and you don’t end up with an angsty child-shaped sloth on your couch for three months), check out our roundup on great internships and summer programs for teens in NYC—ranked in order of application deadlines.
It's kindergarten application crunch time in New York City. Kindergarten Connect, the relatively new form that New York City parents need to fill out either online, on paper, or by phone in order to apply their children to kindergarten for the 2017-2018 school year, must be filed by Friday, January 13 (although that deadline has been extended by the Department of Education in the past). It is not first-come, first-served, so when you turn it in doesn’t matter, as long as you do it by the deadline.
Perhaps it seems you sweated through preschool options and the pre-K decision just moments ago and are once again feeling overwhelmed at the options—the process. As the author of Getting Into NYC Kindergarten, I realize that there is a great deal of confusion about what goes on Kindergarten Connect, and what doesn’t, as well as the optimal way to rank your options to raise the odds of getting into your top-choice school, including a popular zoned kindergarten. So I've put together some simple tips to demystify the process. Relax, it's not high school—not yet!
NYC kids who’ve been itching for the school year to be over so they can devote more time to their extracurricular technology passions are in luck. We've rounded up more than a dozen techie summer camps right here in the city, which all offer hands-on building, coding, 3D printing and more.
No matter what your child’s interest, age or location, you should be able to pick out the perfect camp from our list below to fuel some summertime STEM learning.
With two adults and three kids in my family's typically small NYC apartment, the holiday season stresses me out. Not because of all the things I need to do, but because of all the extra "stuff" that I know is about to flood our home. That's why this is my favorite time of year to donate my kids' gently (or sometimes never!) used clothes, toys, books, and other items so we can free up some space, support worthy charities, and get the whole family in a giving mindset.
We've gathered details on several organizations where you can donate quality used items during the holidays and beyond. Be sure to contact the charities directly to confirm what they accept and how best to drop off. In Brooklyn? We recently rounded up charities in the borough accepting children's items.
It seems maker spaces are popping up all over New York City this fall. We just profiled a new spot on the Upper East Side, and now there's a new STEM center the Upper West Side. The just opened Skill Mill NYC, though, expects to appeal to a slightly older demographic and more advanced set of makers—middle school kids, teens, and adults—in part because of its heavy-duty and very cool tools. Remember how Tim Allen on Home Improvement always asked for “More power?” At Skill Mill NYC, you're gonna get more power. A massive laser cutter will let students handle wood, leather, cardboard, and other significant materials for big projects, plus there's a 3D printer and other sophisticated design options and tools.
Read on for the scoop on NYC's latest state-of-the-art maker space, and for more high-tech fun, be sure to check out our STEM Guide.