Founder & CEO of Mommy Poppins
Anna was born in Park Slope, spent her early years in the West Village. By the time she graduated high school, she had lived in 4 of the 5 boroughs. Growing up in NYC in the '70s meant the streets were her playgrounds. Museums and avant garde music venues were the kid-friendly activities. And living downtown taught her the importance of creating community for families in NYC.
Now, raising her own two children in the city, she tries to create the same sense of magic and community she felt growing up, despite today's more commercialized version of kid-friendly New York.
She started Mommy Poppins in 2007 to share a more artsy, educational, uncommercial, community-oriented vision of raising kids in New York City. Today Mommy Poppins is relied on by millions of families as the authority on the best things to do with kids beyond New York City: from Boston to Philly, Los Angeles, Houston and travel guides for dozens more cities and destinations.
Latest posts by Anna
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.
Sunshine, fresh air, plenty of running around and sports. Those are some of the great reasons to send your child out of the city to one of the many wonderful country day camps that surround the city. If you (or your child) aren't quite ready to head out of the city, here are five camps in NYC proper that approximate the country day camp experience.
Find more options in our Camp Guide and Directory.
Skiing and snowboarding near New York City always feels like a trade-off. The further you are willing to drive, the better the skiing. The less you drive, the less you get in terms of runs, altitude and amenities. Or so I thought until our recent visit to Mountain Creek Resort in New Jersey. Mountain Creek is the closest ski area near New York City, but we found it offers a superior experience even to some further away ski mountains. I don’t know how I had missed this great ski spot so close to the city.
Just 47 miles from the George Washington Bridge, we arrived at Mountain Creek in just over an hour. Dealing with the logistics of skiing with kids can be stressful, so taking hours of travel out of the equation made the day much more relaxed. We didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn or feel rushed to get on the slopes. We knew we could take our time and still get a full day of skiing and boarding in. No worries.
As amazing as this city is, living in NYC is not for the faint of heart. Raising kids here? Even more so. If you’ve gotten through preschool, elementary school, and even middle school admissions, you may be thinking, “I’ve got this.” Even spreadsheet-making, type-A parents who mastered the earlier grades may be shocked at how overwhelming and chaotic the high school application process is. I should know; I'm going through it with my second kid now and I'm still dizzy from the whirlwind.
Even if your kid is still a tyke, it's worth knowing what you are in for. I didn't want to just rely on my own experiences though. After addressing our mutual PTSD, I got the inside scoop on what you need to know about applying to high school in NYC from a bunch of been-there-done-that local parents.
In his victory speech President-elect Donald Trump vowed to be a “president for all Americans.” Since Election Day, however, there have been an alarming number of hateful events in our nation’s schools invoking Trump’s name. We are now living in a country where children fear for their safety and that of their loved ones. As advocates for children and families, we, the mothers and fathers of Mommy Poppins, call on Trump to explicitly denounce all forms of hate speech, attacks, threats, and bullying that are erupting in our nation’s schools and beyond.
Donald Trump, saying “stop it” isn’t good enough. Your directive must be explicit, immediate, and unequivocal. There can be no room for confusion. We call on you to directly address all Americans to say hateful speech and behavior against people of any race, religion, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation is not acceptable to you or this nation.
All kids can be affected by sensory processing issues. Certain situations just make them freak. So it makes sense that exposing kids to a variety of sensory activities in a calm, playful manner can alleviate some of these problems.
In that spirit, we've put together this list of 99 sensory activities for any child. Though these activities involve sensory stimulation, they are great all-around activities for any child, from toddlers on up. Some are even good for babies. These sensory activities also can help you. My kids' school's occupational therapist once gave a seminar to parents on sensory balance and activities for maintaining a sensory-savvy schedule. I now realize my engine tends to run too low and I need to work harder at energizing myself throughout the day. I have incorporated some of these activities to keep my own energy up.
For more tips on dealing with sensory issues, see our posts on sensory savvy-snacks and OT-recommended toys.
It's no secret that NYC is loaded with great food. Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook seem to be overflowing with incredible-looking eats, but are they just eye candy?
We needed to find out, so we headed out with a gaggle of kids to test the best, most amazingly outrageous, over-the-top desserts around New York City, and to discover which were as good as they looked and sounded. We picked the 15 most insanely awesome treats in NYC. These delicious desserts are all perfect for a special outing or just some bonding time. So get ready to wow your kids with the most awesome sweets in NYC.