Andy Fenwick

Andy Fenwick

Latest posts by Andy

Hanukkah Celebrations and Menorah Lightings for NYC Families

New York City knows how to celebrate the holidays, and Hanukkah is no different. The Festival of Lights arrives early in 2017, with the first night on Tuesday, December 12. But have no fear: we've rounded up nearly two dozen ways to celebrate this wonderful Jewish holiday, and most of them are free.

Some cool new and newish events this year! There's the first-ever Menorah on the High Line, and the Chabad of DUMBO has transformed its yearly Hanukkah celebration into Fire and Ice at Jane's Carousel. We also have the annual mainstays, from the World's Largest Hanukkah Menorah Lighting, to Chanukah on Ice and Hanukkah Family Day at the Jewish Museum

Thanksgiving Weekend in NYC: Parade, Santaland, Holiday Lights

Turkey might be the main course, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the centerpiece, but holiday events for New York City kids immediately shift into December-mode on the final weekend of November. Macy's Santaland opens, and the Dyker Heights Christmas lights begin to twinkle. Catch the opening days of the annual, out-of-this-world holiday train show at the New York Botanical Garden. On Saturday, you can attend tree lightings in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Glendale, Queens, and, on Sunday, kids can meet Santa on a Flatbush Farm or take a ride on a throwback subway train (on the way to Sunday events).

For stuff to do on Thanksgiving day itself, look no further than our guide to 10 things to do on Thanksgiving with NYC kids, and of course, our 100 Top Things to Do in NYC with Kids list is always at the ready for school holidays and staycations.

We also have the full 411 on Santa Claus brunches, teas, and cruises, more neighborhood Christmas Tree lightings, and our guide to 21 NYC Holiday Activities Every Kid Should Try Once. This is also the weekend cut your own Christmas tree farms traditionally open, and of course the holiday shows and theater are beginning now with The Magic Flute for Kids at the Met OperaGeorge Balanchine's The Nutcracker, and A Christmas Carol kicking off this long Thanksgiving weekend.

As always, you can support your holiday planning with Mommy Poppins mainstays like our November GoList, our event calendar, and our action-packed Holiday Fun Guide.

10 Things to Do on Thanksgiving Day with NYC Kids

Other than the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, is there really anything else New York City can offer on the holiday? Of course! We found 10 fun ways to spend the day with your kids that don't involve eating turkey or watching giant balloons. And by 10 events, we mean almost 20, as you'll see below. Many of these events are FREE, and some of them occur only this year. Some, like Ai Weiwei's Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, are both free and here only in 2017.  

Read on for our picks, from zoos to bowling alleys, or movies, and even an exhibit dedicated to Downton Abbey. Got a car? Loads of events right outside New York City are open on Thanksgiving. See our guide to 10 picture-perfect holiday day-trips near NYC

Oh, also: A Happy Thanksgiving to your family from all of the parents at Mommy Poppins NYC. Here's to a happy holiday season

Find more Thanksgiving weekend events in our Event Calendar and November GoList.

19 Fun Things To Do with NYC Kids on Election Day

New York City kids get a day off from school on November 7, but maybe voting-age adults should have Election Day off, too, and not just because it's important that everyone vote; there's so much fun to be had! Fall weather offers the perfect chance to hit up one of New York City’s many destination playgrounds, but we’ve also scoured our event and museum listings, and combed through our day trip guides to put together a list of 19 things to do on Election Day. 

Of course, many (if not most) parents have to work one way or another on Tuesday November 7. See our directory for the many mini camps around the city offered on Election Day. And while you're at it, see our November GoList, our Fall Fun Guide, and our list of 35 free, family events in November for an action packed November beyond Tuesday.

Best Halloween Celebrations for NYC Kids on October 31

As holidays in New York City go, few rival the scope of Halloween. Our 2017 Halloween Fun Guide overflows with parades, parties, and trick-or-treating spots in each of the five boroughs, and Tuesday, October 31, remains the main event, when kids score all that candy a parent can responsibly "test" once young trick or treaters have collapsed at bedtime.

Some things are certain: both the trick or treating in Tribeca and the Park Slope Civic Council Children's Halloween Parade will be packed with pretty amazing costumes. BAM's annual BAMboo! block party will again treat kids to dancing and bounce-house jumping, and the Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel will happily scare your tween or teen. But check out the new stuff, too, like Nitehawk Prospect Park or the Children's Museum of Manhattan's Magical S.T.E.A.M. Halloween.

Whatever you decide to do on October 31, arrive early and expect crowds. For the best ways to plan an epic Halloween night with your NYC kids, scroll on. Most of our picks are FREE or inexpensive.

Halloween Weekend for NYC Kids: Parades and Trick-or-Treat Fun

New York City kids get a full pre-weekend of Halloween this year! Annual favorites include Halloween at the Seaport, the Haunted Halloween Walk & Fair in Prospect ParkLC Trick-or-Treat, and the Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla, along with smaller-but-equally-fun events like the Outdoor Thriller Dance Party in Clinton Hill, or Obake Family Day: Spirits of the Misty Sea at the Japan Society.

Halloween isn't the only holiday in town this weekend; don't forget about Day of the Dead celebrations, including options like Dia de los Muertos at the Brooklyn Children's Museum. You can also enjoy more fall festivities (and spooky ones) at the annual Children's Fall Festival in Queens.

For Halloween events specific to Tuesday, October 31, check out our complete roundup of Halloween Day festivities, as well as our comprehensive NYC trick-or-treating guide, highlighting the best neighborhoods to hit in all five boroughs. There's still time to pick the perfect pumpkin before the big day, too, including within the city limits. Don't forget: in the aftermath, you can donate all your leftover candy and, later in November, smash your pumpkins

Need a break from planning your kid's costume, and well, everything else? Consider these seasonal day trips to get into a more low-key fall mode. Looking ahead to that next big holiday? Book your Thanksgiving dinner at these NYC restaurants, or sign up to volunteer as a family with these local charities. 

Like every Halloween, it wasn't easy to select top picks for this weekend, so be sure to check out our October GoList, Event Calendar, and Halloween Guide for even more ideas.

Be sure to keep an eye on the forecast this weekend. You may want to call, or check the venue's website, before heading out as rain and wind was expected.

Columbus Day Weekend in NYC: Free Festivals, Parades, Scarecrows

The long Columbus Day weekend is here, and NYC kids have a message for local schools: keep the holidays coming! What's a parent to do? Why, check out the New York Botanical Garden's Dig! Plant! Grow! Scarecrow Weekend, take to the ice for the first skate of the season at Rock Center's Opening Day, score tickets for opening weekend of the National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, or celebrate Columbus Day in Prospect Park.

This weekend is also full of seasonal celebrations including the annual Little Red Lighthouse FestivalHarlem Harvest Festival, the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival, and the Jefferson Market Garden Children's Festival. And let's not forget the annual Columbus Day Parade.

It's a great weekend to take a fall day trip, or maybe go on a neighborhood investigation and check out Long Island City or the playgrounds of Central Park.

Read on for our top picks for the coming weekend, or see the 23 Best Events for Columbus Day in NYC. Also, be sure to check our October GoList and just released Halloween Guide to help you plan out the rest of this fall and, as always, our Event Calendar is full of activities and events for every day of the week.

Weekday Fun: Ocean Odyssey, Fun Math, and a Boat Parade

Maybe the weather will be cooler for the cool New York City kids looking for cool events? Either way, there's a mix of indoor and outdoor fun this week, with the Annual Parade of Boats taking over the Hudson River. We've got two great book reading, one at Books of Wonder's new uptown location and one featuring the Music for Aardvarks founder, in Astoria.

Looking for more? We've got a guide to super cool kid-friendly art coming to NYC in the fall, and a guide to stores where kids play for free. Check out our October GoList
and Fall Fun Guide for oodles more ideas, and take advantage of our far-reaching Event Calendar.