Zoom became popular during the pandemic, but the video chat platform—and others like FaceTime and Skype—is great for more than just quarantine times. For families like mine, with grandparents spread across the country, a Zoom date is an easy, satisfying way to foster face-to-face connections between generations. While a casual chat is fun in itself, sometimes we like to up the ante and incorporate some fun activities into the video session. Here are our 10 favorite activities and games that kids can do with grandparents over Zoom.
When asked to illustrate her career goal as a first grader, Jody drew a picture of a mom with one kid on each hip and another clinging to her leg. All these years later, that is her reality, raising three kids in this crazy city. Since her dream job only pays in hugs and kisses, she has spent her professional career as an editor at SI.com, espnW.com and SportsonEarth.com, and also freelanced for Care.com.
Latest posts by Jody Mercier
Ready to get out and see a bit of the world again? Or maybe just take a drive? We've rounded up 17 summer day trips near NYC just right for area families ready to make a break for it. These destinations are all within easy driving distance from NYC, Long Island, and Westchester.
The tristate area is in various stages of reopening, so we've done our best to pick outdoor day trips from NYC where maintaining some social distance is possible. No matter where you travel, don't forget to bring your masks along (they're required in New York state and encouraged most places), plus plenty of hand sanitizer.
New York City is examining a range of ways to reopen public schools in the fall, including staggered schedules and potentially more remote learning, according to a letter Chancellor Richard Carranza sent to school staff earlier this week. The chancellor breaks down the reopening plans into an eight-point "Fall Framework" and points out that there are still many unknowns.
While the letter does not offer a firm NYC school reopening date other than September, the city's mayor hinted that September 10 is a possibility during a Thursday press conference. Mayor Bill de Blasio referenced the date several times in responding to questions about the school reopening plan, saying, it's "impossible to say, 'Here's exactly what's going to happen on September 10, 2020,'" and "there's going to be a certain number of parents that even if school was open to all in person, they're not going to be ready necessarily on September 10 to send their child back."
Read on for the full contents of the chancellor's letter to learn more about what the new normal might look like for NYC's 1.1 million students come fall, including a combination of in-person and online instruction, split schedules, social distancing protocols, enhanced health measures, and more.
Please note that we've attempted to highlight Governors Island at its best in the following post. The 2020 public season is set to begin on Wednesday, July 15, and many service changes and program limitations are in effect. Read more about the 2020 Governors Island season here.
Governors Island opens to the public on July 15, 2020, and brings with it 172 acres of parkland to explore, providing weary New Yorkers a new summer staycation activity.
Read on for the scoop on the very best things to do on Governors Island, plus important visitor tips—such as ferry schedules, and where to score free biking and kayaking.
One of our favorite things about late spring and early summer is the plethora of fruit in season, especially the berries. Picking your own makes it even sweeter. As we move into the height of strawberry picking season, there is a slew of nearby farms offering pick-your-own strawberries. Many are just a short car ride away from New York City, making for a great day trip of strawberry picking and seasonal festival fun.
Read on to discover more than a dozen pick-your-own strawberry spots, all less than two hours away.
For more day trip inspiration, check out our Family Getaways Guide, and find more local U-pick opportunities in our Farm Guide, or read our roundups of strawberry picking farms in Long Island, Westchester and the Hudson Valley, and New Jersey.
The arrival of June brings with it the celebration of Pride, a vibrant, rainbow-filled recognition of the LGBTQ community. While it is traditionally marked by over-the-top parades, jam-packed rallies, and marches, Pride might look a little different in 2020. Yet, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate with the kids right from your own home.
Whether you're a member of the LGBTQ community or consider yourself an ally, here are 35 ways to celebrate Pride Month. We've rounded up events ranging from virtual Pride-themed read-alouds to concerts, rallies, and more fun things to with kids.
New York parents and day camp directors alike got some much-needed good news this week: Summer camps statewide will be allowed to open on June 29, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday.
While the order applies only to summer day camps (no decision on sleepaway yet), the decision offers some parents weary after months of distance learning a helping hand on the horizon.
This summer is sure to look different than years past—both at camp and elsewhere—but the other good news is that after 80 days on lockdown, New York City moves into Phase 1 of reopening Monday, while the Mid-Hudson and Long Island Regions are likely to enter Phase 2 next week if necessary health metrics are met.
Read on for more details on summer camps and the other reopenings each NY region can expect soon. Visit our Summer Camp Guide for open local camp slots. You can also register for our upcoming Online Camp Fair, where you can attend live panels and info sessions with camps and explore virtual info booths for online and in-person camps. We've also got a safety summer camp checklist to help everyone have a healthy camp experience.
Updated: Wednesday, June 22: Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari has announced a reopening date of Saturday, July 4, with a member preview day set for July 3. Reservations will be required, and all guests must undergo a contactless temperature check before entry. Capacity will be limited, masks required, social distancing enforced, and enhanced sanitation protocols will be put into place. Due to its popularity, the drive-thru safari will remain open for the foreseeable future.
Families fed up with online field trips take note: It's time to grab your binoculars and cameras because Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari is reopening its animal kingdom as a drive-thru experience this weekend. Timed-entry tickets go on sale this week.
This isn't the first time Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari has allowed visitors to drive their vehicles through the attraction; some parents may still have vacation photos from the good old days, when baboons used to jump on the family station wagon. The 350-acre park operated as a drive-thru adventure from its 1974 opening through 2012.
The return of this classic experience is temporary, though. So if you aren't quite ready to flock to the beaches at the Jersey shore, read on for how and when your family can get tickets for a local safari. We've also got the scoop on what Phase 1 of reopening means for NJ families.