Founding Editor & Publisher
I was born in Park Slope, spent my early years in the West Village and by the time I graduated high school, had lived in 4 of the 5 boroughs. Growing up in NYC in the '70s meant the streets were my playgrounds, museums and avant garde music venues were the kid-friendly activities and living downtown taught me the importance of creating community for families in NYC.
Now, raising my own two children in Lower Manhattan, I try to create the same sense of magic and community that I grew up with, despite today's more commercialized version of kid-friendly New York.
I started writing Mommy Poppins in 2007 to share my vision for a more artsy, educational, non-commercialized and community-oriented way to raise kids in New York City. Today, Mommy Poppins is relied on by more than 500,000 parents each month to curate the best things to do with kids in New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut, Westchester, Boston and Los Angeles, plus a Family Travel site. I'm happy that we are successfully helping families do more than just find a way to spend an afternoon with kids by sharing activities that are enriching and create amazing family memories.
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Latest posts by Anna
Camping seems like such a nice idea. You connect with nature—just you and your family or friends in the woods. But the reality isn’t always as splendid. Gathering all the gear needed and packing everything and everyone into the car, or arriving at a trampled campground that's often just a few feet of dirt and some brush separating you from a band of beer-drinking bros, and you lose some of the romance. That's why we were excited to stumble upon a new way to reconnect with nature, especially for NYC or city families who don’t have room to store lots of equipment between trips.
A new website, Tentrr, connects private camp sites and campers, like an Airbnb for the Great Outdoors. While your host may leave you cookies or something extra to make you feel welcome, the best part of our stay was the total seclusion. The sites are on private land, so it really will be just you, the trees, and some woodland creatures.
Just two hours from New York City or Philadelphia, the Pocono Mountains offer pristine natural beauty mixed with enough family-friendly activities to fill a long weekend getaway or an entire summer vacation. Truly a four-season resort area, during the winter people flock to the region for skiing and other winter sports, and the cool lake-dotted mountains draw families for swimming, hiking, boating, horseback riding, and more in the summer. It's also loaded with great water parks, both indoor and outdoor.
We've rounded up dozens of the top family attractions in the Poconos into one mega list. Given that it's a fairly large region, we've separated the list by area or town to make it easier to find what's closest to where you and your family plan to visit. Staying longer? Hit all the regions!
Summertime means beach time, but while there are lots of shores near and even in NYC, some are more family friendly than others. After packing up your gear and schlepping the kids by car, train, bus, or ferry, the last thing you want to find out is that your chosen beach has no bathroom or that bathing suits are optional. Skip the guesswork with our roundup of these seven beaches for NYC families, including detailed info on attractions, food, bathrooms, and hidden costs. Most are within two hours of Manhattan by car and are easily accessible via public transportation as well, so you can plot a great staycation for your brood.
Find more beach fun in our Beaches, Pools, and Water Playgrounds Guide, or check out these summer day trip ideas.
You've all heard the hype: In NYC, you have to sign your kids up for summer camp at the beginning of the year or you'll never snag a spot. However, even if you haven't spent one minute thinking about summer camp, there's no need to panic—yet.
Sure, the small programs fill up quickly with returning campers who get first priority. But large camps like Chelsea Piers and Aviator Sports can often accommodate kids up until the last minute, and many specialized programs have availability for a particular week or days. We've rounded up more than 40 NYC camps that still have spots for summer 2017 as of this writing. Some are even offering special discounts for Mommy Poppins readers.
To find even more New York City-area camps, check out our comprehensive Summer Camp Guide and browse hundreds of programs in our NYC Summer Camp Directory, which includes sleepaway options and even camps where you vacation!
Cruises are fun. How can you beat a giant floating resort with entertainment, amusements, unlimited food, and fun at every turn? And that’s just on the ship. My favorite part of a cruise is waking up in a new location to explore.
Now, Princess Cruises is bringing more joy of discovery to your next vacation at sea with a new partnership. Teaming up with Discovery Channel, new Discovery At Sea excursions and on-ship programming bring to life the nature, wildlife, and history of each destination. We were hosted on the Grand Princess, sailing year round from San Francisco, and the first ship to offer the new Discovery at Sea programming.
I tried every meal kit, and it wasn't at all what I expected.
I am a meal planning fanatic (yes, spreadsheets and all). So I was curious to try out the new trend of meal kit delivery services to see if they really make family dinnertime with kids easier. And because I’m completely compulsive, I signed up for every single meal kit option out there, so that my family ate only meal kits for five weeks. Want to know how it went?
After cooking dozens of meal kits, here’s my obsessive, totally non-sponsored rundown of the best and worst. If I didn’t answer your question here, feel free to check out my meal kit review videos on Facebook and leave a question there.
The word is that if you want to visit the popular national parks like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon you have to plan a year in advance because the accommodations get booked up.
When we decided to take a last minute cross country drive last summer, I thought we might have to skip Yellowstone. In a panic, I started looking into how to get accommodations about a week before our arrival. Sure enough, all the rooms were booked for the two nights we wanted to stay in the park. But, in the end, it all worked out and we had an amazing stay. It was definitely worth it. Read on for my best tips for booking last minute accommodations at Yellowstone and other national parks.
There's something wonderfully nostalgic about kids getting a thrill from a ride on a carousel. There are more than a dozen merry-go-rounds in our city and each offers a unique spin on this traditional kiddie ride. With spring in full swing, it's a great time to take your first carousel ride of the season. With merry-go-rounds in all five boroughs, there's probably one near you.