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
The best thing about a snow day is, of course, sledding! Hit these neighborhood hills across New York City for some wintertime fun with the kids.
In compiling this list, we asked our readers, family, and Mommy Poppins writers and editors for their top recommendations for sledding hills across the five boroughs, but we're always looking for more suggestions. Feel free to chime in if you're favorite isn't here.
Not sure if school is on or off? Read our post on how to know if snow has canceled class or not.
Whenever the weatherman predicts a big snow, you can almost hear the collective cries of joy from children, and the sighs of resignation from the adults who know they’re going to have stir crazy kids at home. Somehow the initial excitement always seems to wear off way too early in the day, leaving hours still to be filled.
Before your brood drives you batty, scan through this list of things to do at home on a snow day, from baking projects (cake in a mug) to cool crafts (homemade puff paint) and fun games (indoor snowball fight). We think you’ll find enough ideas to keep them happily entertained until the school bus pulls up again. Have fun and good luck!
How do you find out if your kid's New York City school is closed, because of the snow? While NYC public schools close infrequently, private schools and nursery schools close more often and it's important to know whether your child's school will be open before you head out the door. Note: NYC often doesn't make the call until the last minute. (Calling might not work if the administrators stayed home, although texting a day care provider might work in a pinch!)
Here are the best resources for finding out if New York City schools are closing for a snow day, as well as ideas for what to do in the event of snowmageddon, like NYC's Top Sledding Hills and 40 Snow Day Boredom Busters to do indoors.
Summer camp can be an especially stressful financial issue, because while we want our children to have a fun, rewarding, and safe experience, we don't want to dig into our retirement fund to pay for it. Even if your family's swimming in money (and if you are, congrats), we all appreciate a good bargain anyway.
Although there seem to be fewer FREE New York City summer camps than in years past, our list of inexpensive or cheaper camps for local kids keeps growing. Some wonderful New York City programs are subsidized by arts and education funding so that all children can experience the amazing resources of this city.
Read on for all the info on our picks for FREE and bargain summer camps for NYC kids. You can find even more summer options in our jam-packed Summer Camp Guide and search for programs by interest, age range, and location in our Camp Directory.
More and more kids are looking up to scientists as the heroes they really want to emulate. There’s no better place to revel in the science of space than at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Something between a museum and a theme park all about space exploration, there’s a lot to see and do at this family destination, including the brand-new Heroes and Legends attraction.
The Kennedy Space Center is a must-do for any family interested in science, space and American history.
If you have a little one you probably need no introduction to PAW Patrol, the hit Nickelodeon animated TV series. But did you know that PAW Patrol is coming to Boston in the first-ever live theater show for the pups of Adventure Bay? Thanks to our Mommy Poppins team in Los Angeles, we already have the inside scoop on the show with a parent-written review. But, even better, we're giving away four tickets to the show at the Boch Center's Wang Theatre right here in Boston. See contest details below. PAW Patrol Live!: Race to the Rescue will be in Boston for only two days and the show will likely sell out, so don't delay in snatching up your tickets.
When I was in first grade a child was killed crossing Seventh Avenue on his way to school by a speeding truck. So, I remember my first protest well. Just a handful of us, moms and kids, walking in a tight circle with signs and chanting to demand a crossing guard. We got that crossing guard and a lesson was learned: Even as kids, we could have a voice and make a difference.
America has been on tenterhooks this election season. It has caused much "unfriending" and, perhaps, drawn even more stark lines between groups. On Saturday, however, I saw Facebook friends from all backgrounds coming together at the Women's Marches across the country and the world. I even saw some who voted for Trump, but wanted to stand for women's rights and also listen to the other side! But of everyone out there, the thing that struck me the most was seeing all the children.
We may never agree on any of the political issues facing this nation, but one thing I hope we can all agree on is that these children are amazing and are learning that you're never too young to enjoy this country's most important freedoms of speech and peaceful protest. Whatever "sides" they may choose to take, I hope this is just the beginning for our daughters (and our sons) to feel powerful, valuable, and able to take constructive action to raise their voices, not to yell and name call, but to try to improve the world for all of us together.
Winter days can leave families in need of fun indoor activities. We worked with Sylvan Learning, a leader in STEM education for kids, to develop ideas for a “boredom buster” jar full of STEM activities. Each fun project is super simple and includes concrete STEM educational tips to bring the learning home. That’s what we love about Sylvan EDGE programs; the educators at Sylvan Learning always make sure that the kids go home understanding important STEM concepts while having fun doing it.
To make your STEM activities boredom busters jar just print out the downloadable sheets, cut out the activity cards, fold and place in a jar or bowl. Any time the kids get restless or need a screen time break, just pull an activity out for some at-home fun. Note: Some of these activities do take some preparation, so make sure to gather your materials—including freezing your colored ice sculpture shapes—in advance so you are ready to go when boredom calls...or whines, as the case may be.