If you’ve visited Mommy Poppins in the last month, you’ve probably noticed that we have a brand-new website. We hope you like it! Our new site is designed to offer a better mobile experience, as well as a less cluttered design and easier navigation. Since the launch, we’ve been getting great feedback from readers and have been fixing some initial bugs and making more improvements. We wanted to take a moment to show you around the site and highlight some of the new features.
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
First birthday parties are tricky. Since they're as much for the adults as for the baby, parents want to throw a memorable celebration that the birthday child can enjoy while marking the occasion with friends and family.
I've been thinking about first birthday party ideas, so I decided to ask the experts: the moms who work on Mommy Poppins. Sure enough, I got lots of great tips, advice and concepts.
When my son declared he wanted a mystery party for his 10th birthday, I turned to the Internet to research party games and ideas. Happy surprise, the No. 1 Google result for “kids mystery party” is my friend Liz’s hilarious post comparing the type-A Pinterest-perfect mystery ideas she found online vs her own totally type-B mystery party.
While anyone who has been to my always-messy apartment will attest I am definitely not a type-A mom, when it comes to birthday parties, I love to go all out with really creative activities that always leave the kids saying, “That was the best party ever.” Let’s face it, kids don’t care if your paper goods are fancy; they just want to have fun.
So, in response to Mom-101's post, I took up the challenge to create an A-is-for-Awesome kids' mystery party that anyone could throw without a MFP (Masters in Fine Pinterest).
For the past few years, I have dreamed about having a party with a photo booth. Not only does it seem like a fun party activity, but the guests end up with great favors: The funny photos that show everyone together, having a blast. You can rent a photo booth from a local company, but the prices start in the high hundreds and go up from there, so I looked into different options for DIY photo booths.
After much research, my photo booth solution ended up being incredibly simple and free, and it was a huge hit at my last gathering. We got terrific pictures of all the guests, but the biggest surprise was how great having a photo booth was for the kids. We had children ages 3 to 12 completely occupied, snapping away, leaving the grown-ups to eat, chat and mingle.
While this easy DIY photo booth works for grown-up parties, I think it's a particularly great addition to a kids' party. The only downside is, if you want the kids to do anything else, it might be hard to pull them away. Find even more fun and easy tech ideas like this in our Geek Guide.
This fall we did an at home beading party for my daughter and I found this to be one of the most fun, versatile, inexpensive and easy to organize birthday party ideas we have ever done. A beading birthday party is a great idea for girls from preschool age to teens and it's a great idea for NYC kids because it's easy to do even in a small apartment and in New York we have easy access to all the wholesale beading stores where you can pick up all kinds of fun beads.
I'll never forget the year I tried to do an ice-skating birthday party on the cheap by taking a bunch of kids to the rink at Bryant Park and then herding them over to a diner afterward for dessert. If I had known we could have a regular ice skating party for less than $350 I probably wouldn't have this nervous tic whenever I hear a Zamboni.
Read on for the real deals on ice skating parties all over New York City. We've even dug up all the hidden fees you might not have calculated so you can truly compare the costs at these seven ice skating rinks.
Beading is a really fun craft activity for kids of all ages and grown ups, too. In fact, it can be a great moms night out. Basic beading doesn't require any skill, but still gets your creative juices flowing as you piece together your own creation from a selection of beads.
We've written about hosting a beading party at home but there are several city spots that will host your party for you, too.
Lest you harbor a notion that I, as "Mommy Poppins," am some uber-organized, type-A, helicopter mom, let me dispel that myth for you right now with this story about my daughter's 10th birthday party. Yes, double digits, big deal birthday...and the morning of the party, what had I prepared? Nothing.